The Florida Highway Patrol arrested prolific light heavyweight boxer Antonio Tarver on Saturday evening during a traffic stop. Tarver had a warrant out for his arrest due to failure to appear in Clark County, Las Vegas, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
WTSP 10 News, a Florida CBS and Gannett affiliate, posted a photo of Tarver's mugshot on its official Twitter account:
The AP report indicates that Tarver is being held on $215,425 bail, and that he was charged with "passing a worthless check" in Nevada. That is the presumed genesis of his developing legal situation, and it's yet to be determined if he's retained an attorney.
TMZ.com provided further insight on the situation, citing court records as the source and a purported gambling debt Tarver owes to the Wyatt Las Vegas:
According to court records, Tarver's legal problems in Nevada stem from a beef with the Wynn Las Vegas ... and it appears Wynn is accusing Tarver of not paying back a gambling marker. The records show that Wynn went after Tarver for "breach of contract" ... which happens to be the same accusation that Wynn made against "Girls Gone Wild" honcho Joe Francis for allegedly not paying back a $2 million gambling marker he took out in 2007.
NBC 8 WFLA.com reports that charges were first leveled against Tarver in June 2013, so it seems it was only a matter of time before this situation caught up to him. It has now landed him in Pinellas County Jail.
Nicknamed the "Magic Man," the southpaw won a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta even before turning professional. That was a sign that Tarver had something special in him even before he went about making a truly serious living out of fighting.
As recently as July 2011, Tarver defeated Danny Green to win the IBO cruiserweight world title.
The 45-year-old Tarver has posted a 30-6 career record with 21 knockouts, per BoxRec.com, and has held the IBF, WBC, WBA and The Ring light heavyweight titles at various stages throughout his storied time in the ring.
However, this legal saga threatens to put a dent in Tarver's legacy as a fighter, and may be a sign that he's facing difficult financial circumstances.