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Tarver out of Mir boxing match on Paul-Askren card, ex-cruiserweight champ steps in

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Frank Mir has a new opponent for the big Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren boxing showcase.

UFC Brisbane Media Day: Frank Mir
Frank Mir was due to face Antonio Tarver on April 17.
Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir was supposed to box former WBA, WBC, IBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver in the co-main event of Triller’s fast approaching Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren event on April 17. However, Tarver has now been removed from that match-up.

According to MMA Fighting Tarver’s withdrawal is due to a licensing issue. That outlet reported that Tarver has not met the requirements to compete in the state of Georgia (the event is scheduled for Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium).

With Tarver out, Triller is attempting to find a replacement to face Mir. Currently it seems as though Steve Cunningham, who drew with Tarver in 2015 is likely to step in. Cunningham, who is 44, has to get medical clearance before his fight with Mir can be made official.

Cunningham has a 29-9-1 record in boxing. He last fought in 2017, losing a unanimous decision to Andrew Tabiti for the NABF cruiserweight title. He is a former IBF cruiserweight champion.

Mir, 41, has an 0-0 pro boxing record. The decorated BJJ ace and former MMA champion had a long career with the UFC, which started way back in 2001.

After going 5-1 to start his UFC tenure Mir was matched up with Tim Sylvia for the vacant UFC heavyweight title. Mir famously won that fight, at UFC 48, by breaking Sylvia’s arm. Mir was stripped of that title after he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

When he returned to UFC action in 2006 he took losses to Marcio Cruz and Brandon Vera and won against Dan Chistison and Antoni Hardonk. In February 2008 he was picked as the first ever UFC opponent for WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.

Mir upset Lesnar with a kneebar. He followed that up with a TKO over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim UFC heavyweight championship. Mir then rematched Lesnar, at 2009’s UFC 100, to unify the heavyweight titles. He lost that bout by TKO.

Mir would compete for the title three years later, losing out to Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 (also by TKO). After that fight he went 2-5 before being released by the UFC in 2016. In 2018 he signed for Bellator, where he fought Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 198. Mir dropped that bout by TKO. After that he was TKO’d by Javy Ayala.

His last fight was at Bellator 231 in 2019. There he beat Roy Nelson by unanimous decision, taking his overall MMA record to 19-13.