Tampa’s Antonio ‘Magic Man’ Tarver suspended from boxing, fined in doping scandal

Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver and his mom, Gwen Tarver; AP file photo.

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — Land O’ Lakes resident and five time boxing champ Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver has lost a bid to reverse a boxing suspension in New Jersey related to doping allegations and will have to pay a $50,000 fine before he can fight in that state again.

Tarver collected $250,000 last August 14th after a prize fight with Steve Cunningham. The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSAC) later determined Tarver had performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) in his system at the time of the fight.

Tampa Bay 'Magic Man' boxing legend Antonio Tarver owes fortune in child support (Image 1)
Tampa Bay ‘Magic Man’ boxing legend Antonio Tarver owes fortune in child support (Image 1)

After Thursday’s 2-0 NJSAC vote confirming his six month suspension, Tarver posted an angry response on YouTube decrying the decision as unfair and claiming he was “clean” during the bout. Tarver vowed to fight the decision. Nick Lembo, attorney for the NJSAC, tells 8 On Your Side the decision is “final.”

“I’m going to take care of that in time” Tarver told Eight on Your Side Friday by telephone. “”I have no comment right now.”

This marks the second time Tarver has suffered a suspension due to doping allegations. The first time was in 2012 when Tarver was suspended by California authorities for a year, fined, and lost his job as a boxing analyst on Showtime. Tarver currently works as an analyst for Spike TV. It’s not clear what impact, if any, his second doping suspension will have on that broadcasting job or Tarver’s self-stated aspiration of becoming a heavyweight champion boxer at age 47.

Antonio Tarver, Pinellas County Jail photo
Antonio Tarver, Pinellas County Jail photo

Tarver’s troubles may run even deeper in the Hillsborough Justice System where he owes more than $779,000 in overdue child support related to his 14-year old daughter by former girlfriend Toni Rolle.

A Hillsborough County Magistrate found Tarver in “willful contempt” January 27th and forced him to hand over his Mercedes SUV as partial payment for his mounting child support debt, after Tarver testified he is broke.

Serious as his legal and financial troubles appear to be at the moment it’s not all work and no play for Tarver.

After that recent contempt finding in child support court and just days before his New Jersey boxing suspension hearing “Magic Man” posted photos on Instagram showing him vacationing in Costa Rica “with the boys.” Despite his money woes Tarver apparently still has a little magic left.

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