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Former boxing champion Antonio Tarver accused of punching girlfriend's son over Waffle House bill

Antonio Tarver (Pasco County Sheriff's Office)
Antonio Tarver (Pasco County Sheriff's Office)
Published Aug. 15, 2018

LAND O'LAKES — Former world-champion boxer Antonio Tarver was arrested Monday, after deputies said he punched his girlfriend's teenage son in the face in a dispute over a Waffle House bill.

Pasco County Sheriff's deputies on Monday responded to Tarver's home on Sylvan Springs Road, according to an arrest report. On the sidewalk outside stood 18-year-old Aziya Taylor, bleeding from his mouth.

Taylor told deputies that he'd been in his mother's bathroom, retrieving soap for a shower, when Tarver stood in the doorway yelling at him. When Taylor closed the door, he said, Tarver banged on it, and when he opened it again, Tarver "bum-rushed" him and hit him in the face.

As Taylor tried to leave the house, he told deputies that Tarver threw him down and hit him again. Eventually, Taylor left through the garage.

Tarver was upset about a breakfast trip to Waffle House that day, Taylor told deputies, when the teen hadn't had enough money to pay for his food.

Tarver, 49, told deputies he was frustrated by Taylor's inability to pay for his food. He said they had an argument that led to "tussling" in the kitchen, where he said Taylor fell and busted his lip.

Deputies arrested the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Tarver on a domestic battery charge and took him to the Pasco County Detention Center, where he was released Tuesday on $1,000 bond.

Tarver, the former world light heavyweight champion, notably defeated Roy Jones Jr. twice, in 2004 and 2005. He held that title on and off for the next few years, according to BoxRec.com, losing it for the last time to Chad Dawson in 2008 and failing to win it back from Dawson the following year. He last fought in 2015, when a match with Steve Cunningham ended in a draw, the only one of Tarver's 31-6-1 career.

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