Stallone wrote the part of MASON DIXON with boxing champ ROY JONES JR in mind and fought hard to get the fighter in the ring for the fifth Rocky sequel, but now the movie star favours Tarver.
Tarver also beat contender JEFF LACY to the role, according to website Moviehole.net.
He says, "I'm the heavyweight champion of the world and unfortunately Rocky's got to come back to see me.
"I believe we're gonna start shooting around December 1st. We are filming this reality style. We'll be filming in Las Vegas the weekend of the JERMAINE TAYLOR/BERNARD HOPKINS fight - after they jump off the scale, we'll jump on."