On November 28, Mickey Rourke will step into the ring at the age of 62 in what seems like a bad installment in the Rocky series. Rourke is no stranger to the ring, though, as he has had 30 amateur fights and eight professional ones.
During his time as a boxer, he compiled a solid record of 27-3 as an amateur and 6-0-2 as a professional. He will be looking to chalk up his first win since 1994, when he takes on no-name opponent Elliot Seymour.
The fight will take place in Moscow on the undercard of the Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Jose Luis Castillo bout.
Rourke recently expressed admiration for boxing and his desire to fight in Russia when speaking to Russia’s Sovetsky Sport: “Boxing is a serious part of my life. It taught me respect and determination, patience and concentration. I always dreamed of fighting a match in Russia.”
Now it appears his boxing dream of fighting in Russia will come true in less than two weeks. But while the thought is nice, one has to wonder if Rourke will shake off 20 years' worth of ring rust.
In a way, the 62-year-old embodies the qualities of Robin Ramzinski, his iconic character in The Wrestler—a past-his-prime athlete who shows tremendous heart while trying to relive the glory years of his youth.
Luckily for Rourke, the man he will be facing has just one win against nine losses.
Rourke is being trained by the legendary Freddie Roach, who will be concentrating all of his energy on Manny Pacquiao this week, as he prepares for his upcoming bout against Chris Algieri. But Rourke and Roach have a quiet a history together, as you can see in this 24/7 video by HBO.
Freddie Roach says in the interview, "Mickey offered me a job training him in Hollywood. I was there for seven days; he showed up in the gym one day of seven." He went on to tell the unmotivated Rourke at the time: “You tell me you like boxing, and you like boxing, but you show up one day out of seven—you waste my time. I ripped him so bad he actually cried.”
After Roach gave him that frustrated pep talk, the two proceeded to work together after Rourke begged him to train him once more.
Rourke, who is a frequent visitor to the illustrious Wild Card Gym, expressed nothing but admiration for Roach in a 2009 interview recorded by Elie Seckbach.
“You talk about having to have a tremendous work ethic, Freddie brings that to the table as a trainer and as a friend, somebody who bonds with his fighters—he has a tremendous work ethic with people that he trains.”
The two will look to rekindle their boxing partnership when they take the ring once more on November 28, as Rourke will be out to prove why he is not expendable as a boxer.
Follow Evan @Emoneyball22