UFC legend Frank Mir has confirmed his return to fighting, with an undercard bout against former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion Antonio Tarver announced for the April 17th 2021 Ben Askren-Jake Paul card.
Mir (19-13 pro record) hasn’t fought since beating Roy “Big Country” Nelson at Bellator 231 in October 2019. Despite his extensive Mixed Martial Arts pedigree, Mir has never participated in boxing competition, either professionally or in an amateur capacity. Not only that, but Mir has always been known for his incredible strengths fighting on the ground, being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
In his opponent, he faces an enormously stark contrast. His opponent, Antonio Tarver (31-6-2), best known for his trilogy against one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time, Roy Jones Jr. as well as playing Mason Dixon in “Rocky Balboa”, had 39 professional fights as a boxer, winning the WBC, IBF and WBA (Super) titles at Light Heavyweight, as well as the IBO Cruiserweight title.
He holds two wins over Roy Jones Jr, as well as going all 12 rounds with former Undisputed Middleweight king Bernard Hopkins.
This fight then, will be Mir’s professional boxing debut. He has long displayed an interest in focusing on his striking game, including recently signing a deal with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Mir was also the first fighter ever to knock out Antonio (Big Nog/Minotauro) Nogueira. However, he will face a much different test in a legitimate, albeit 52 year-old former boxing champion.
The former UFC Champion released a statement following the news:
“Always wanted to test myself in the boxing ring, so when this opportunity arose, I jumped at it.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how Mir fares swapping the 4oz gloves for the 16oz gloves of the Heavyweight division, pending Regulation committee approval. Tune in on April 17th, as Frank Mir makes his boxing debut against former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion Antonio Tarver!”