Former UFC star Frank Mir’s professional boxing debut will no longer be against Antonio Tarver as ‘The Magic Man’ has been pulled from the fight, which was set to feature on the undercard for the upcoming Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren bout on April 17th.
The 52-year-old Tarver reportedly didn’t meet the requirements needed by the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission to compete and so the promotion have had to come up with an alternative opponent for Mir.
That has now come in the shape of Steve Cunningham, who coincidentally was Tarver’s last opponent back in 2015, who he fought to a split draw with.
The 44-year-old Cunningham is a two-time IBF cruserweight champion who retired from the sport in 2017 with an overall 29-9-1 career record in the ring.
Cunningham had compiled a perfect 18-0 record early in his career, but struggled to maintain that form as the level of competition increased, resulting in a 10-9-1 record from that point forward.
So, despite being 8-years-younger than Tarver, Cunningham’s late career form wasn’t as good and he wasn’t as much of a finisher either. In fact his last TKO stoppage win was over 10-years-ago, though on the other hand it’s worth noting that he was only finished once in his career by the current No.1 ranked heavyweight Tyson Fury, who KO’d him in 2013.
So, on paper it’s potentially a better fight for Mir, but nonetheless still an extremely challenging one to make his pro-boxing debut against a former champion.
Many of the concerns regarding the 41-year-old Mir competing remain though, not least of which is the fact he’s lost six of his last nine MMA fights and was either KO’d or TKO’d in four of them.
Mir is determined to test his skills in the boxing ring though and now has three weeks to prepare for his new opponent.