Antonio Tarver and Jimmy Smith named color analysts for "Premier Boxing Champions" series on Spike

Antonio Tarver dedicates fight with Frank Mir to people struggling with mental health

Antonio Tarver will step back into the ring for the first time in nearly six years on April 17 when he fights former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. The two are boxing on the undercard of the Jake Paul and Ben Askren pay per view event.

Tarver, who portrayed Mason “The Line” Dixon in the 2006 film Rocky Balboa, is looking forward to boxing once again, even if the opportunity comes at 52-years old.

“It’s been a long-time coming,” Tarver said in press release which was sent to MyMMANews. “52 is 52. No matter how you add it up. I know I’m defying Father Time from the looks of it and I’m glad I don’t look like what I’ve been through.”

For Tarver, the motivation to go out and compete once again isn’t to prove himself as an athlete. He did that already when he claimed multiple world titles across the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. This fight is about something much more closer to Tarver’s heart.

“What we’re not gonna do is ignore Mental Health,” Tarver said. “I have nothing more to prove in the sport of boxing. This fight is for all the people that are suffering with their mental health. Anxiety, depression and more.”

Tarver knows first hand how people with mental health disorders feel as he struggled with mental health problems as well.

“Myself, I’ve been through it,” the former ESPY award winner for Boxer of the Year said. “I want to tell my story. The greatest story never told is mental health. Don’t call this a comeback. Call this a Fight for you. It’s not my comeback. it’s a continuation. I’m thankful that our God answered my prayers. I’m here to finish what I started.”

While Tarver isn’t afraid to speak out on his mental health issues, he doesn’t want to be the center of attention. Instead, he is dedicating this fight to the people around the world struggle with mental health problems.

“I’m dedicating this fight with the MMA Legend, Frank Mir to the People. I want to bring the whole world together and on April 17th, I’m bringing the Magic. Let’s get healthy and Fight for Mental Health.”

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