Antonio Tarver, Frank Mir to box on Jake Paul-Ben Askren card, sources say


Former two-division boxing champ Antonio Tarver will return to the ring to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on April 17, sources confirmed with ESPN on Thursday.

Tarver, 52, will box Mir, 41, on the undercard of a pay-per-view event headlined by a boxing match between former MMA champion Ben Askren and YouTube star Jake Paul, sources said. Triller, a social media company, is promoting the event, which is expected to take place in Atlanta, according to sources.

Mir tweeted about the fight with Tarver earlier Thursday. The bout will be Mir’s professional boxing debut.

“I am a competitor,” Mir wrote in his tweet. “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.”

The heavyweight bout will be a 10-round affair, sources said, and is still pending regulatory approval. A request for comment to the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission was not returned Thursday evening.

Tarver has not fought since 2015 but is unbeaten in his past six fights. The Florida native is a former WBC, WBA and IBF light heavyweight champion, as well as a former IBO light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion.

Mir last fought in MMA in October 2019, in a win over Roy Nelson under the Bellator banner. The Las Vegas native was on a four-fight losing streak before that. Mir was the UFC heavyweight champion in 2004 and an interim heavyweight champion in 2008, and he fought most recently for the UFC heavyweight belt in 2012.

Known for his grappling, Mir owns the most finishes (13) and most submission wins (8) in UFC heavyweight history.

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