Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir managed to make it to the final bell in his professional boxing debut but still came up short in his fight against Steve Cunningham.
Over six rounds, Cunningham was clearly the more polished puncher, popping Mir with right hands and consistently tagging him to the head and body. When it was over, the judges scored the fight 60-54, 60-54 and 58-56 for Cunningham, who gets his first win since 2017.
What did you think of Frank Mir’s boxing debut? #TrillerFightClub #PaulAskren— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 18, 2021
Despite being his debut, Mir didn’t show fear throwing punches with Cunningham in the opening round, although he was struggling to stay on target. Cunningham was doing his best to stay on the outside to keep the former UFC champion from bullying him with a weight advantage in the fight.
While Mir was attempting to keep the fight in a phone booth, Cunningham started to establish his jab with solid combinations to the body as well. Late in the second round, Cunningham stung Mir with a couple of stiff right hands that landed flush.
As time passed, Mir was rushing forward with aggression and Cunningham was tagging him with counter punches while doing his best to shrug off the clinch whenever he got locked against the ropes. To his credit, Mir was hanging tough and he landed arguably his best punch of the fight just before the bell rang at the end of the third round as he cracked Cunningham with a hard right hand.
Mir was still moving forward in the later rounds but he was definitely starting to move a little slower, which allowed Cunningham to pop him with a few straight punches to the head and body. Again and again, Cunningham’s right hand was his best punch as he started measuring Mir with his power punches while still being wary of overcommitting to combinations.
With time ticking away in the final round, Cunningham was still connecting with a lot of single punches but not really loading up with Mir constantly working his way into the clinch to slow down the fight. When the final bell rang, Mir was showing the wear and tear of a six-round fight while Cunningham was still fresh on his feet.
At 41, Mir had previously signed a contract to compete in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships before inking the deal to face Cunningham in a boxing match. It’s not clear if Mir still plans to test himself in bare-knuckle fighting but he did manage to take a former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion to decision on Saturday night.