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Former championship boxer jailed in Florida

By: Associated Press
March 3, 2014 Updated: March 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm
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photo - This Saturday, March 1, 2014, Pinellas County Jail booking photograph shows former heavyweight champion boxer Antonio Tarver. Tarver was arrested Saturday, after a tag violation and during the stop it showed an arrest warrant out of Nevada.  Tarver is allegedly in a legal battle with the Wynn Las Vegas casino, and is accused of not paying back a gambling marker. (AP Photo/Pinellas County Jail)
This Saturday, March 1, 2014, Pinellas County Jail booking photograph shows former heavyweight champion boxer Antonio Tarver. Tarver was arrested Saturday, after a tag violation and during the stop it showed an arrest warrant out of Nevada. Tarver is allegedly in a legal battle with the Wynn Las Vegas casino, and is accused of not paying back a gambling marker. (AP Photo/Pinellas County Jail) 

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A former world champion boxer was arrested in Florida on a felony theft and bad check warrant stemming from unpaid IOUs at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Antonio Tarver on Saturday night after a traffic stop.

Officials say the 45-year-old Tarver was held on $215,425 bail following his arrest on a warrant issued last June in Las Vegas. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Tarver, who lives in the Tampa Bay area, was named in a criminal complaint filed in Las Vegas alleging that he failed to repay three casino loans totaling $200,000 obtained in July 2012 at the posh Wynn Las Vegas resort.

Nevada treats written casino IOUs, known as markers, like fraudulent bad checks. State law lets prosecutors collect a 10 percent processing and prosecution fee with any settlement.

Most cases are resolved before charges are filed. Some are resolved when the amount owed is paid as bail.

Jake Merback, the prosecutor handling the case in Las Vegas, said Monday he hadn't heard from Tarver representatives. Merback said authorities in Florida told him Tarver hadn't immediately posted bail to be freed.

Tarver's professional career included 30 victories and six losses, and he won a bronze medal as a light heavyweight at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Tarver played a heavyweight boxer in the 2006 movie "Rocky Balboa" and has served as a commentator for Showtime Sports Boxing.

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