Former world champion and pound for pound star Antonio Tarver shared a video of Sylvester Stallone taking potshots at him during the filming of Rocky Balboa.
Tarver starred alongside Stallone in the sixth installment of the franchise after getting hand-picked by the Hollywood superstar.
As they worked out the end fight scenes together, “The Magic Man” was convinced the cheeky Stallone meant every punch he landed with on Tarver.
In an interview with movieweb.com when the film got released in 2006, Tarver explained parts of the training process.
“I think he got dazed a couple of times. That was not hard. I think that’s the skill that I brought to the movie,” Tarver told movieweb.
“He’s been in the ring with a lot of fighters. He’s gotten cut, hurt. Also, he got injured by those fighters because they just didn’t have the wherewithal not to turn over their punches.
“I think that’s what I brought to the table. I’m glad that he was able to see that I had that special thing.”
Asked if he ever accidentally hit him too hard, Tarver joked: “He didn’t accidentally hit me, he purposely hit me. It wasn’t an accident.”
— The Magic Man ???? (@AntonioTarver) September 18, 2021
Discussing how the link-up came about that eventually saw Tarver earn praise for the realism of his role, he explained: “I don’t remember getting a call from anybody but Sylvester Stallone. He called me directly. He said that he wrote the script with me in mind. That it was mine to turn down.
“I automatically said, “Where do I sign up?” I wasn’t going to turn down this opportunity for no one.
“When I heard of the character and read the script, it was perfect. It was something that I wasn’t going to turn down for anyone.
“I’m glad that he had faith in me. He’s done that a number of times with Mr. T, he took a chance with him, Clubber Lang, and the rest is history.
“If I had it all to do over again, I would never turn down the opportunity to be in such a great movie. Rocky Balboa, the final chapter in the Rocky Franchise.
“They’ll forget about the fight I lost, but they’ll forever remember Mason “The Line” Dixon.”
Tarver is yet to reprise his role in the new spin-off franchise “Creed,” which will release the third film in 2022.
Never say never, though, for Mason Dixon.