Winning the light heavyweight titles
On April 26, 2003, Tarver received his first world title shot when he faced former world champion Montel Griffin for the IBF and WBC world light-heavyweight titles that had been vacated by Roy Jones. Tarver was crowned world Light Heavyweight champion after winning a unanimous decision.
Tarver vs. Jones I & II
Next, unable to secure a fight with Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr. planned to return to the division (after a stinct at heavyweight) to take back the Light Heavyweight belts Jones owned previously. Given little chance of winning, Tarver took a weight drained Jones the distance and lost the fight and WBC title by a majority decision on November 8, 2003, in Las Vegas. The decision was somewhat controversial.
The rematch took place in May 2004. Tarver shocked the boxing world by KO'ing Jones in the second with one punch to reclaim his titles.
Rise in popularity
Tarver became a mainstream celebrity after his rematch win over Jones, making appearances at late-night shows, appearing on the cover of both Ring and KO Magazine, being spotted by television cameras as a spectator at various boxing fights, and co-hosting ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" for one telecast.
Rubber match against Jones
In their third fight, Tarver won a unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. on October 1, 2005. The Magic Man almost KO'd Jones in the 11th round despite finding himself in trouble at times during the fight.
Tarver vs. Hopkins
On June 10, 2006, Tarver faced former Undisputed Middleweight Champion Bernard Hopkins for Tarver's Light-Heavyweight title. Hopkins, a 3-to-1 underdog, dominated the fight and won a unanimous decision over Tarver.
Tarver vs. Dawson I & II
On October 11, 2008, Tarver faced rising star Chad Dawson for Tarver's IBF and IBO Light-Heavyweight belts. Tarver lost the fight via unanimous decision, 118-109 and 117-110 (twice).
With the loss to Dawson, it was speculated that Tarver may choose to retire, however, he later announced that he and Dawson would meet in a rematch in March 2009. Originally announced for March 14, 2009, the fight had to be postponed due to an injury suffered by Dawson. Finally, on May 9, the two fighters met gain and Tarver lost, again, by unanimous decision.
Tarver KOs Green
On July 20, 2011, Tarver dominated Danny Green to capture the IBO Cruiserweight title. Tarver knocked down the durable Green in the second round and controlled the majority of the action from there. After taking heavy punishment and being saved by the bell at the end of round 9, Green failed to come out for the start of round 10 allowing Tarver to take the victory by TKO.
Tarver starred as heavyweight champion Mason "The Line" Dixon in the 2006 film Rocky Balboa. In the film the current, unpopular, champion Dixon fights former champion Rocky Balboa, who decides to come out of retirement.
A tall southpaw with good skills and speed
Good punching power
Punches in combinations
Poised and patient
Strong amateur background
Tarver serves as a boxing analyst for Showtime Championship Boxing.
Major World Titles
IBF Light Heavyweight
WBA Light Heavyweight
WBC Light Heavyweight
WBC Light Heavyweight
RTD 9 Danny Green - 2011
UD 12 Clinton Woods- 2008
UD Roy Jones Jr 2005
UD Glen Johnson- 2004
TKO 2 Roy Jones Jr - 2004
UD 10 Montell Griffin -2003
TKO 5 Eric Harding- 2002
SD 10 Reggie Johnson - 2001
UD 12 Chad Dawson -2009
UD 12 Chad Dawson -2008
UD 12 Bernard Hopkins - 2006
SD 12 Glen Johnson - 2004
MD 12 Roy Jones Jr - 2003
Won a bronze medal as a light heavyweight at the 1996 Olympics