Frank Mir is gearing up to make his return to combat sports, only it won’t be inside a mixed martial arts (MMA) cage. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion will make his boxing debut against former multi-division champion, Antonio Tarver, on April 17, 2021.
“I am a competitor,” Mir announced on Twitter. “I have been all my life. I take on challenges to grow and better myself as a person. I have always wanted to test myself in the boxing ring so when this opportunity arose I jumped on it. See you April 17th Antonio Tarver.”
The fight will serve as the co-main event for the upcoming bout between YouTube personality-turned boxer, Jake Paul, facing off against former Bellator and ONE Championship Welterweight champion, Ben Askren, who walked away from UFC in 2019.
Mir hasn’t competed since defeating Roy Nelson at Bellator 231 in Oct. 2019. Despite having 32 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fights to his name against some of the best fighters on the planet, Mir has never participated in a sanctioned professional boxing match. His win over “Big Country” was his first in his previous five outings.
Facing Tarver will be a tough task to say the least even though the former Cruiserweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight champion hasn’t competed in more than five years. Tarver has 39 professional boxing fights on his resume, which includes going toe-to-toe against Roy Jones Jr. three times, winning two of them (and knocking him out once). He also went the distance with Bernard Hopkins in 2006, though he wound up losing a unanimous decision.
Mir recently inked a deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), but his debut for that promotion will be put on hold until after he makes his professional boxing debut.
Dare I ask for predictions?