Report: Antonio Tarver vs. Frank Mir Fight Booked on Jake Paul-Ben Askren Card

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2021

IBF light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver, rom Tampa, Fla. looks on during a boxing news conference in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008. Taver will defend his title against Chad Dawson, of New Haven, Conn., on Saturday, Oct. 11, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

A high-profile boxing vs. MMA crossover fight reportedly will be part of the undercard for the upcoming Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren boxing event. 

According to ESPN's Marc Raimondi and Ariel Helwani, former light heavyweight and cruiserweight boxing champion Antonio Tarver will face former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in a 10-round boxing match on the April 17 card in Atlanta.

The 52-year-old Tarver owns a career professional boxing record of 31-6-1 with one no contest. He beat the likes of Roy Jones Jr. and Glen Johnson during his career but has not fought since a 2015 draw with Steve Cunningham.

Meanwhile, the 41-year-old Mir is 19-13 in his MMA career with wins over Tank Abbott, Brock Lesnar, Mirko Cro Cop and Roy Nelson.

His last MMA bout came in 2019 at Bellator 231 when he beat Nelson by unanimous decision.

The boxing match between Tarver and Mir is reportedly pending regulatory approval, but if it happens, it will mark Mir's boxing debut.

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While Mir is significantly younger than Tarver, he is known more for his grappling than his striking with nine career submission wins compared to five knockouts.

Mir is similar to Askren, who is a former UFC welterweight and an Olympic wrestler.

Askren went 19-2 with one no contest during his MMA career, and he held both the Bellator and ONE welterweight title.

He was undefeated before getting knocked out by Jorge Masvidal in a record five seconds at UFC 239, followed by a technical submission loss to Demian Maia in October 2019. Askren hasn't fought since.

Askren won six fights by submission and six by knockout during his career, but most of the knockouts came after he got his opponent to the ground with his wrestling ability.

A former UFC fighter would normally be favored to beat a YouTuber like Paul, especially since Paul has just two professional fights under his belt, but Askren's lack of striking means the result could be in doubt.

In much the same vein, Mir could be in trouble, as he is entering Tarver's domain should that bout come to fruition.