Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Frank Mir, who turns 42 in just a few weeks, will make his return to combat sports — as a boxer — when he trades leather with former WBC, IBF, and IBO titleholder Antonio Tarver on the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren pay-per-view (PPV) undercard on April 17 in Atlanta.
And while it reads like a mismatch on paper, Mir plans to show the boxing world that he can hang with the 52 year-old “Magic Man” after drawing inspiration from a couple of other aging pugilists in the form of Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson.
“Watching Roy and Mike, especially Mike Tyson, someone I can relate to, someone who really let himself go there through his late 30s and 40s,” Mir told MMA Fighting. “There were times Mike was walking around 300 pounds, he wasn’t healthy. Now you look at him, he’s cleaned up his diet, his motivation, his training, and we got to see a phenomenal version of him. So that, again, as a fighter who’s getting older, I found it especially inspiring.”
Inspiring enough to achieve victory? Probably not, but get the stretcher ready anyway.
“Regardless of how that fight ends, I’m walking out of there with pride,” Mir continued. “Hopefully, that means me putting my fist through Tarver’s ribs and he gets carried out on a stretcher. But if it comes out with an L, he’s still probably leaving on a stretcher. I might get outpointed, but I’m making sure that everybody knows I was there.”
For more on the upcoming Paul-Askren PPV card click here.