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Old 07-11-2009, 01:47 AM
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Default Wife's words broke Mir down, built him back up

Say this on the front page of Good article here on Mir. I also thought his career was over after losing to Vera.

Wife's words broke Mir down, built him back up

by Mark Kriegel

LAS VEGAS - On the night of Nov. 18, 2006, in a hotel room in Sacramento, Calif., just hours removed from a humiliating knockout at the hands of one Brandon Vera, Frank Mir announced his retirement.

"Never going to fight again," he said. "Whatever I had, I don't have anymore."

Two years had passed since Mir found himself on the receiving end of a motorcycle wreck. His femur had been broken in two places, and his knee all but ruined. The first doctor told him his career as professional fighter was over. A second orthopedist concurred.

Actually, Mir was able to make a comeback of sorts. But the knee was still gimpy when somebody named Marcio Cruz knocked him out in the first round, opening a gruesome, half-moon shaped laceration below his eye. Then he got fat for a lackluster decision over another world-beater, Dan Christison. Next, Vera "a guy that shouldn't even have been a heavyweight," Mir would recall put him away in 69 seconds. He had been in good shape for Vera, though. The knee was fine. Now he was out of excuses.

"It is what it is," he said, waiting for his wife to agree.

Jennifer Mir understood, of course, having lived for the better part of two years with her husband's depression and doubt. "So many people," she recalled, "were telling him he didn't have it anymore."

But she refused to count herself among them. And she refused to give him what he wanted, which is to say, an easy way out.

Frank and Jennifer had met some years before at their place of employment, the Spearmint Rhino, one of those euphemistically labeled "gentlemen's clubs" where he worked as the head bouncer. Now they had three kids of their own, including a son Frank adopted from Jennifer's previous relationship. They had built something good. But a fighter who cannot fight does not make for domestic tranquility. With Frank talking retirement, Jennifer knew the marriage was at a crossroads. Worse than that, they were looking at a lifetime of regret.

You can quit, no problem, she told him. It's not like he owed her an explanation. "You only have to answer to your children," she said. "Look how they would see you right now. ... Could you explain it to them?"

Just like that, Jennifer Mir became Standup Wife of the Year.

And Frank embarked on another kind of comeback.

"An ultimate breakdown," he says, referring to that night. "I always thought I was mentally strong. Then I