by Johnny Walker
IBO cruiserweight champion Antonio Tarver’s career as a Showtime boxing analyst was one of the more impressive transitions from the ring to ringside seen recently. Tarver was able to offer boxing fans some expert insight into the sport, all the while maintaining an enthusiastic and likable, everyman type personality.
But after returning to the ring on June 2 to face Lateef Kayode in a lackluster draw, and subsequently testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, Tarver’s television career has done a 180 degree turn.
First, Tarver was unceremoniously dumped from his Showtime job, his name not even mentioned during the network’s coverage of the Victor Ortiz vs Josesito Lopez bout.
Now comes word that Tarver has also lost his job as the analyst for NBC’s Olympic boxing coverage: he will be replaced by cruiserweight contender and part-time TV boxing analyst B.J. Flores.
This comes as a bitter blow for Tarver, who recently has said on his Facebook page how excited and proud he was to be covering the Olympics.
But for obvious reasons, the Olympics job was pretty much off the table the minute Tarver came up dirty in a drug test.
Now, all Tarver can do is await the test results of his “B” sample and hope that he will be proven innocent.