Frank Mir OK with Steve Cunningham, not ‘tomato can’


Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is joyful to nonetheless be dealing with a worthy opponent in his skilled boxing debut.

Mir’s authentic opponent, 52-year-old Antonio Tarver, was pressured out when the Georgia Athletic and Leisure Fee didn’t grant him a license to compete. As a substitute, Mir, 41, will tackle Steve Cunningham underneath the Triller Battle Membership on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

When Tarver withdrew, Mir admits he was frightened he’d wind up dealing with an unestablished title. He’s in the end glad it’s Cunningham.

“I didn’t need some tomato can to get caught in there to the place it diminishes your victory,” Mir advised MMA Junkie Radio. “You’re like, ‘Properly, yeah, after all you beat that man who’s some journeyman boxer, who’s 18-30 and he will get paid 1,500 {dollars} to return in and mainly take a beating to pad different folks’s information.’

“So once I noticed that Cunningham was clearly not that, any individual that it made me nervous to look at him simply combat. I used to be like, ‘Oh, there’s the man.’ That’s what I want in my opponent. I want any individual that, once I take a look at you, you scare me. In any other case, it makes coaching arduous.”

Cunningham, 44, is a former IBF cruiserweight champion with a profession report of 29-9-1. He hasn’t fouguth since an August 2017 unanimous determination loss to Andrew Tabiti on the Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard.

Although Mir claims that Cunningham is a more durable take a look at, he nonetheless hopes his matchup with multiple-time boxing champion Tarver can get rebooked, as he appears to be like to proceed embarking on this new chapter of his profession.

“I believe Tarver has one hell of a reputation. Hell, he’s a film star, actually recognizable,” Mir mentioned. “I believe it’ll be a artful combat, and I’m very concerned with doing it. So possibly we will do it in Florida, that approach I might combat round a few of my household from my father’s facet and a number of the Cubans, and I’ve by no means gotten to combat in Florida, so it’s all the time been on the bucket checklist anyhow, and I believe their fee doesn’t have that statue or that regulation the place a 50-year-old fighter has to have fought so many instances within the final 5 or 10 years, no matter it was precisely that was holding Tarver up.”

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