Rocky Balboa Star Fails to Have One Year Ban LiftedWritten by Lee Cleveland
Former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Antonio Tarver (a.k.a Mason 'The Line' Dixon), despite proclaiming his innocence yesterday, failed to lift the one year ban imposed on him by the California State Athletic Commission following his positive test for a performance enhancing drug (PED) earlier this year.
On June 22nd it was announced then-IBO Cruiserweight Champion and Showtime commentator Antonio Tarver (29-6-1, 20 KO), had a banned sunstance in his body prior to his then-draw with Lateef Kayode three weeks earlier.
The culprit, Drostanolone propionate, (known as Masteron on the street) is an effective, very expensive anabolic steroid typically used by elite bodybuilders 3-4 weeks prior to a competition.
As a result of testing positive for the PED, his draw with Kayode was changed to a No Contest and the 43 year-old fighter was stripped of his world title by the International Boxing Organization (IBO).
Danny Green, the Australian whom Tarver lifted the title from last year, will face Kiwi Shane Cameron next month for the now vacant IBO Cruiserweight crown.
Currently ranked the No 3 cruiserweight in the division by BoxRec, Tarver is rated the top American cruiserweight by the same site.
But there's more to Tarver's suspension....
Tarver's positive drug test also resulted in his indefinite suspension from Showtime as a color commentator while NBC relinquished him of his broadcast duties there, hiring cruiserweight contender B.J. Flores as a replacement.
"I really am surprised they didn't shorten the suspension," Tarver told ESPN.com. "I can't explain why it was in my system because I don't know why it was in my system. But I know I've never taken any steroids. That's my story and I'm sticking to it."
"I had the Olympic commentating position locked down and was enjoying my role with Showtime," Tarver told ESPN.
"Now everything is all up in the air. It's what (Showtime) decides to do. They haven't told me anything. The network is bigger than me. I can't control the network. But I've never been told I've been fired.
"Showtime supports me and they want to see me get through this, but I don't know if that means I will ever be back on the air. They have to make a decision based on the interest of the network. But I miss it, I really do. I miss boxing period. I'm ready to get back but maybe it's retirement."
Tarver added he might try acting again and vows to stay in shape regardless of what the future holds.
Pictured: Mason 'The Line' Dixon, left, unleashes on the fabled Rocky Balboa in the film, Rocky Balboa
In 2006, Antonio Tarver stared as Mason 'The Line' Dixon, Rocky's opponent in the sixth Rocky installment, Rocky Balboa. Dixon is portrayed as the current undisputed heavyweight champion of the world who is not shown the same respect as Rocky was when he was the heavyweight champion.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.