A former UFC heavyweight champion announced his return to combat sports action on Thursday, and this time around his fight will happen inside a boxing ring. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir announced via social media that he’s set to square off against retired boxing champion Antonio Tarver.
Mir posted, “I am a competitor. 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.”
Mir vs. Tarver is set to be part of the next Triller Fight Club event on April 17. The main event for that Triller pay-per-view card is YouTuber Jake Paul taking on ex-MMA champion Ben Askren.
Tarver had previously announced via social media that he signed a fight contract with Triller but that he didn’t know who his opponent would be.
Mir vs. Tarver on April 17
Both Mir and Tarver are legends in their own sports.
Mir, 41, twice won the UFC heavyweight championship. The MMA legend has also competed under the Bellator MMA promotional banner.
Tarver, 52, is a former 175-pound champion in boxing. In 2004, the “Magic Man” famously knocked out rival Roy Jones Jr. in the second round to solidify his standing as one of the top fighters in the sport.
Perhaps even more famously, Tarver played the main antagonist in the 2006 film “Rocky Balboa”.
Tarver’s last fight was a split-decision draw in a cruiserweight bout against Steve Cunningham in 2015.
Mir’s last action was a unanimous decision win against Roy Nelson in a heavyweight contest at Bellator 231 in October 2019.
Mir on Next Move: ‘I’ll Train Hard and Prove Them Wrong’
Mir revealed more information about his boxing match vs. Tarver on the “Phone Booth Fighting” podcast.
You can watch Mir talk about his big decision below.
Mir said he had been preparing for a move over to the Bare Knucking Fighting Championship world but was suddenly given an offer for a “full boxing match” against a legit boxing legend.
Per MMA Junkie, Mir said: “An opportunity arose where somebody was kind of like, “Hey, would you do a full boxing match against a former world champion?” I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ I’m up for challenges. I think obviously it forces you to push yourself and extend. At the end of the day, it makes me a better warrior all around – and a better coach for (my daughter) Bella. It got presented to me. April 17, would I be willing to take on former light heavyweight champion of the world Antonio Tarver.”
Mir said the circumstances surrounding his first boxing match remind him of his first UFC fight in 2001.
Per MMA Junkie, “It’s very reminiscent of my first UFC fight. I think I’m obviously being brought in on the B-side. It’ll be my first professional boxing match. I’m known in MMA for more of my grappling than I am for striking. I’m somebody (that brings) a name and am maybe not dangerous to him on the surface. Hopefully, I’ll train hard and prove them wrong. As of now, I’m not going to make any illusions about it. This is probably a safe warm-up fight in their minds from what their corner is looking at and who they’re going to face.”
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