Antonio Deon Tarver (born November 21, 1968 in Orlando, Florida) made his acting debut as Mason "The Line" Dixon in the film Rocky Balboa, the sixth instalment in the Rocky film franchise. Nicknamed the "Magic Man", Antonio is actually professional boxer and the former WBC, WBA, IBF & The Ring light heavyweight champion.

Rocky Balboa appearance

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. Dixon wins the match by split decision, and after breaking his hand in the second round of the bout but still managing to stand toe to toe with Rocky for the full 10 rounds, proves to doubters that he has the heart of a champion. The DVD of the movie offers an alternate ending, in which Rocky wins the split decision. Dixon's record before the fight is 33–0–0 (30 KO).

Also on the DVD, the film's writer and director Sylvester Stallone wanted to cast a real boxer in the role of Dixon, as he thought it would be easier to teach a boxer how to act than to teach an actor how to box convincingly. In an August 18, 2010 interview with Stallone on The Howard Stern Show, the director indicated that Tarver refused to film his scene after the MGM had been rented out and filled with people already incurring high costs. In order to get the filming done, Stallone gave Tarver a cut of his own salary and points on the back end which resulted in Stallone making no money on the film.[1]

Boxing commentator

Since his loss to Dawson, Tarver has been serving as a boxing analyst for Showtime Championship Boxing.


  1. Stallone has another hit – The Howard Stern Show, (2010-08-18). Retrieved on 2012-09-15.

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