At least a tragedy was avoided last Friday night from Moscow, Russia. In the main event of a fight card attended by a lively crowd of former soviets, favorite son Ruslan Provodnikov finished off over the hill veteran Jose Luis Castillo in five rounds. The controversy of that night came and went but the one that lingers is about the semi-main event between sixty-two year old actor Mickey Rourke and homeless Elliot Seymour. In what was billed an exhibition match despite both sporting ten ounce gloves and no head gear, Rourke stopped Seymour in the second round of six scheduled in the light heavyweight division.
Promoter Art Pelullo of Banner Promotions told anybody that would listen that they really didn’t want to face Jose Luis Castillo, the former lightweight champion, whose real last hurrah was back in 2007 when he was stopped in four by Ricky Hatton. Pelullo and the Russian organizers of the event made it be known that they made considerable offers to not only Mauricio Herrera but also according to them to Zab Judah, Shane Mosley and others. None would take the bait and the forty-year-old Castillo ended up being the folly for Provodnikov’s great return home.
Nothing changed in Provodnikov’s style since his last fight, a loss to Chris Algieri where he lost his WBO 140lb title last June. The “Siberian Rocky” went after his prey and as every round ended his pressure mounted. Despite his age Castillo didn’t look all that bad, scoring punches and staying in the pocket but the damage was increasing and by the third round it was a only a matter of time for Provodnikov to force the stoppage. Left hooks were the fatal blows with the last one, to the top of Castillo’s head, was enough for the third man in the ring to waive the fight off. The fight ended like what everybody expected except for the imminent death of Castillo that everybody expected.
No harm, no foul.
The controversy that has lived on from last Friday is the alleged dive Elliot Seymour (1-9, 1KO) took against the undefeated Mickey Rourke (6-0-2, 4KO). Rourke, who looked like no other 62-year-old on the planet, had not jumped into a ring since September of 1994. Rourke learned how to box out of the Wild Card Gym when he has Freddie Roach for some assistance when the now legendary trainer was a beginner with the training mitts after a long respected boxing career. Not surprisingly Seymour also trained out of the same gym after finding his way to southern California after an extensive amateur career.
Only after the fight the stories of Seymour taking the fight for the money since he is reported as homeless and spending most of his days in a Starbucks. Seymour has not officially denied the claims but by the looks of the body shot that dropped him, a slap to his trunk’s belt line, they can’t all be that farfetched.
No commission in the United Sates would allow a sixty-two year old, no matter who he is, what shape and who trains him, to get in the ring. Could a dive still take place? We’ve seen more questionable things happen this year alone.