Tarver’s Parlay

Antonio Tarver, the likable and loquacious light heavyweight champion from Tampa, has announced his next two fights: Sylvester Stallone and Mike Tyson.

In December he starts filming the sixth Rocky movie, “Rocky Balboa.” He’ll play “Mason Dixon,” a boxer – not a disc jockey.

In February or March Tarver will play himself against Tyson, the former heavyweight champion and convicted rapist, who is now the biggest grossing tomato can in the history of pay-per-view television. He’s not even good burlesque any more.

It’s understandable that the 35-year-old Tarver, who’s eyeing a post-boxing career in show business, would want to max out on his career’s remaining window of opportunity. The light heavyweight division is notoriously challenged for big money fights, so absent a barnstorming venture with Roy Jones Jr., he’s relegated to moving up to the heavyweights.

So he’ll add pounds and ease into it against Balboa and Tyson — an aging fictional fighter and an over-the-hill fraud. Yet another forgettable Rocky movie never looked so good.


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