Mickey Rourke showed on Friday, he might still have hands winning an exhibition match in Moscow against Pasadena native Elliot Seymour. Rourke has not competed professionally since 1994 with that match ending up with the star having to undergo major facial surgery. The Wrestler and Sin City star, 62, fought Elliot Seymour, former California Golden Gloves champion. Seymour is 33 years his junior.
Seymour hit the canvas twice in the second round before the referee stepped in and called the fight off. Before going to Hollywood, the Oscar nominated Rourke was an amateur boxer. He returned to boxing in the 1990s and was undefeated through eight fights. He suffered numerous facial injuries which required reconstructive surgery changing his appearance. He alluded his return to the ring helped him to deal with unspecified personal issues, “saving me from myself.”
In 2008 Rourke won a Bafta and a Golden Globe for his role in the movie The Wrestler. The movie told the story of a former professional wrestler returning back to the ring. He was also nominated for a best actor Oscar but was beat out by Sean Penn in his role in Milk.
He came out to the ring in a red-and-gold robe, a Stetson hat, and shiny gold gloves. He reportedly lost 35 pounds to prepare for the fight and weighed in at 179, the same as Seymour. Rourke was noticeably thinner than his cinematic fighting persona in 2008’s The Wrestler.
Seymour, a former Golden Gloves champion, did not land any significant punches. With a dismal pro record of 1-9, Seymour was seemingly a push over or warm up for Rourke. Seymour fell to the canvas twice during the second round prompting the referee to end the match. Some have already begun complaining that the fight was fixed and Seymour took a dive. With a professional record like Seymour’s it’s hard to say for certain.
According to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, spectators were unsure of what to do next as Mickey Rourke won the exhibition match and improved to 7-0-2. ESPN’s Dan Rafael thought the fight was merely a publicity stunt. Boxing journalists were miffed at the idea of the 62-year-old Rourke going head to head with a physically compromised 29-year-old Seymour. His opinion didn’t change after the first round.
Early in the second round, Rourke dropped Seymour with a body shot. Seymour bounced back up but collapsed again just a couple of seconds later. According to Deadspin, the match was rigged. Seymour was fighting 25 pounds above his usual weight class. The first “body shot” glanced off Seymour’s left torso supposedly dropping him to one knee. The second “body shot” came from a left hook sliding off the back of Seymour while he was bent over.
Footage does seem to indicate a fixed match but it is entertainment. Fans of wrestling know their sport is staged and are able to still enjoy a good show. Whether the fight was fixed or not is irrelevant. A better performance would have staved off the calls of the fixed match. The match was scheduled for 5 rounds but Mickey Rourke won the exhibition match by “knockout” in two rounds. Rourke is looking to keep the ball rolling by planning four more fights in Russia.
By Stevenson Benoit
Photo by David Shankbone – Flickr License