Let's get a few things straight right off the bat:
- Mickey Rourke's "fight" with Elliot Seymour last Friday in Moscow was ridiculous.
- Promoter Andrei Ryabinsky now says that, "Of course, it was a show, this is obvious. What's the problem?"
- Ryabinsky denies that Seymour was paid to take a dive: "It was not 'fixed' at all, it was a fair match."
- Seymour also denies that he was paid to take a dive: "The fight wasn't thrown. I only had one month to train."
Ryabinsky also says that Western media are to blame for the negative reaction to the "fight," which is probably true to some degree. I mean, if you ask the people who organized the nonsense and made money off of it, it was great! If you ask media who had to pay to see it, it sucked.
Ryabinsky, a vice president of the Russian Professional Boxing Federation, chose to blame Western media negative publicity.
He said: 'Nowadays the Western media hunts for any information which would discredit Russia. 'Don't you remember how the Western press covered the Sochi Olympics?'
Let's get past outrage or whatever and focus on one thing: this was foolishness. It doesn't appear the fight was fully sanctioned, though fighters reportedly (via Rybainsky) have to pass medical exams and all that. This was essentially pro wrestling, and in that respect, neat. Whatever. I like pro wrestling. If this had been part of a pro wrestling show, I don't think anyone would be annoyed.
But when you put it in the context of a pro boxing show, it comes off a lot worse. If Mickey Rourke wants to have his ego massaged and make a few bucks doing pretend boxing, that's fine with me. It's like he's making a really low budget movie about a 62-year-old actor who once left his business for boxing, and now is making a comeback.
And to be fair, we boxing people have a great habit of becoming selectively OUTRAGED!! by whatever is currently happening. Mickey Rourke pretty harmlessly scoring a bogus "knockout" of an allegedly homeless guy we didn't care about a week ago and won't care about a week from now isn't really as offensive as we might make out, especially if the promoter is admitting it was bogus with careful language, calling it a PR stunt, basically.
So, like, whatever. Unless something remarkable comes about here, this is the last we're going to talk about Mickey Rourke's meaningless "boxing comeback."