First, there was the elation of Mickey Rourke winning a real boxing bout by beating an opponent half his age, and by knockout too. The headlines looked great! Then followed stories of how the entire bout was nothing less than a staged one – quite an anticlimax to the initial headlines. Here’s how it all went down.
In a way that could only fit a Hollywood potboiler, Mickey Rourke, 62 years old and in surprisingly great shape, took on an opponent only half his age in a real boxing bout in Moscow, Russia. The opponent, Elliot Seymour was only 29 and certainly looked in good shape too. Of course, Rourke simply wasn’t walking into the ring without any experience. In the 90s, he had briefly entered the world of amateur boxing and did quite well too, winning six of his fights and losing none, though two ended in draws. This transitory boxing career that lasted around three years didn’t prove to be good for his acting career though. Rourke suffered serious injuries to his face during one of the fights and had to undergo corrective surgery to get his face back to normal. In fact, he attributes the lack of shots at leading man roles to these unfortunate injuries that permanently disfigured his face.
Going into the fight, Rourke had a record that was way better than Seymour’s 9 losses and 1 win of course, but no one would have thought Seymour was so bad that he would lose to the on again off again amateur boxer of 62 by knockout! Well, that’s where the reality of it all supposedly ended we guess. It only took two rounds for the aging Rourke to down the younger fighter to the canvas, and with seemingly harmless body punches too. The crowds seemed convinced as they chanted “Misha, Misha” in honor of Rourke but now, reports are pouring in as to how the fight was surely fixed.
There are of course several reasons for these speculations. Firstly, the fight itself did not look convincing enough. Seymour hardly threw any punches that could possibly show his seriousness in the ring. Going down to Rourke’s body shots was another glaring mistake. His 1-9 record might justify his moves, but come on, it was a real fight for god’s sakes! Then in line is the fact that Seymour is homeless and desperately in need of money. He is also from the same gym that Rourke trains in, and now a few sources close to Seymour have come across with details of he was paid to drop the bout too.
Rourke, however, couldn’t care less. He enjoyed the preparation for the fight, the fight itself, and of course the win. “I always dreamed of fighting a match in Russia,” he said, and we are not sure if this dream of his was in reference to the legendary Hollywood movie character Rocky Balboa taking on a Russian opponent in the chilly climes of the USSR or the fact that his girlfriend is a Russian! Well, whatever the case may be, Rourke plans to take this further. There are reportedly four more fights on his boxing bucket list in Russia. After this one however, one wonders how the rest will pan out, and whether the crowds will once again chant ‘Misha’, or stay away from what could possibly turn out to be a Hollywood movie scene gone wrong.
Image Source: RIA Novosti / Alexandr Vilf