Who is the man behind MASON "The Line" DIXON?? As we said earlier Stallone and crew were pretty used to hunting for actual professional boxers to play the role of...ummmm...boxer. Antonio Deon Tarver was born on November 21, 1968 and he, too, is a professional boxer. Tarver is a multiple-time light heavyweight world champion and has held the WBA (Super), WBC (twice), IBF (twice) and The Ring magazine titles (twice), as well the IBO light heavyweight (three times) and cruiserweight titles!
Tarver made his professional boxing debut when he was 28 years old on February 18, 1997...He had a 2nd round knockout against Joaquin Garcia at the legendary "Blue Horizon" in Philadelphia. Tarver won his first 16 fights,14 of which wereby knockout, before stepping up his level of competition. After taking most of his first 16 fights in either his native Florida or at the "Blue Horizon", for his 11th fight he met veteran Rocky Gannon in Chester, West Virginia, on August 30, 1998. Tarver knocked out Gannon in the second round.