KEY POINTS

  • Frank Mir and Antonio Tarver have agreed to a boxing bout this April 17th
  • Frank Mir is a former UFC heavyweight champion
  • Antonio Tarver is a former multiple-time light heavyweight champion

The event headlined by the highly-anticipated boxing match between YouTube sensation Jake Paul and former MMA world champion Ben Askren is slowly taking shape, with the undercard getting some additional star power thanks to a pair of former world champions. 

Former UFC heavyweight titleholder Frank Mir revealed on his Twitter account that he would be facing former multiple-time light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver on April 17th. 

Earlier this week, Tarver also teased his return to boxing on Twitter. 

DuLAPADWsAEjMWQ Frank Mir Photo: @thefrankmir on Twitter

The 41-year old Mir is one of the earliest stars in the UFC’s heavyweight division. He won the world title in 2004 after going 8-1 in his first nine professional contests.

He would have two more chances at the UFC title later on in his career before eventually parting ways with the promotion in 2016.

Mir would return to action under the Bellator MMA banner in 2018. He was last seen in action in 2019, defeating Roy Nelson by unanimous decision.

Mir boasts a mixed martial arts record of 19-13, with nine wins by submission and four wins by knockout. 

Antonio Tarver Antonio Tarver kisses his wife Denise, after winning his IBF/IBO Light Heavyweight Championship Boxing match against Clinton Woods in Tampa, Florida April 12, 2008. Photo: Reuters

Tarver, meanwhile, is no stranger to world championship gold as well. The 52-year-old held the WBC, WBO, WBA, and IBF titles in the light heavyweight division.

Tarver also won titles in the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. He finished his career with a professional record of 31-6-1, with 1 no contest. 22 of Tarver’s wins came by knockout.

The Mir-Tarver bout will be a good appetizer for the main event between Paul and Askren, an encounter that was born out of social media trash talk. 

Paul has been one of the most talked-about figures in combat sports in recent months due to his spectacular knockout of Nate Robinson in December 2020.

The YouTuber has since called out multiple mixed martial artists and challenged them to boxing bouts. He most notably challenged Conor McGregor. 

Askren, on the other hand, is a former longtime welterweight champion in MMA promotions such as Bellator MMA and ONE Championship.

In 2019, Askren made his long-awaited debut in the UFC, submitting former champion Robbie Lawler. He would go on to lose to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia before retiring from MMA.