<
>

Tarver: From bankruptcy to champ in 8 days

Antonio Tarver's stunning victory over Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday night could not have come at a better time for him.

Just eight days before winning the WBC light heavyweight title, Tarver went broke, filing for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court in Tampa.

Tarver earned more than $2 million for the fight, the biggest payday of his career, plus a $100,000 bonus that promoter Don King paid him at a post-fight party. And the opportunities for him now will be limitless after his second-round TKO of Jones.

King, who promoted the rematch and has three heavyweight title holders -- Chris Byrd, John Ruiz and Lamon Brewster -- under contract, said, "Antonio is certainly a candidate for a heavyweight fight."

"I fought for peanuts for years," Tarver told The Washington Post. "I fought in all these small places, like the Blue Horizon [in Philadelphia], and I more than paid my dues."

King wouldn't rule out anyone as an opponent for Tarver, including the unretiring Felix Trinidad, who will return to boxing after a two-year hiatus to fight Ricardo Mayorga as a middleweight on Oct. 2.

"My time has come and I want to be a people's champion," Tarver told The Post. "I'm going to fight all the big fights that the people want to see.

"Get used to this face," he said, grinning. "You're going to see a lot of it."