Russian TV Boxing Show Contestant Throws Down Gauntlet to Mickey Rourke

AP
Mickey Rourke during the controversial bout with Elliot Seymour

The 60-year-old Vladimir Filichkin says he is ready to take on the Hollywood actor after a controversial Moscow bout

A 60-year-old Russian who has appeared as a contestant in a television amateur boxing show has challenged Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke to a fight.

Vladimir Filichkin, a former police forensic psychiatrist turned journalist and human rights campaigner from the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, 950 miles east of Moscow, said during a report on a Russian regional television station that he sent an offer to Rourke's agent.

Filichkin, who has appeared in a local television show Boitsovskii Klub (Fight Club), had pledged to lose 10 kilograms (22 pounds) to bring his weight down to the same as Rourke's during the actor's two-round Moscow bout last week against 29-year-old fellow American Elliot Seymour.

Rourke, 62, beat Seymour last Friday in an exhibition match at Moscow's Rossiya Concert Hall, a result that has since been called into question. 

Tabloid reports in the Daily Mail and the New York Post both questioned the legitimacy of the bout, suggesting Seymour was paid to throw the fight. Seymour, a former California Golden Gloves champion fallen on hard times, insists that though he was paid, it was to fight, not to lose the match.

Filichkin seems unperturbed by the allegations.

In a report on regional Russian television station 1OBL, the 60-year-old is seen in training to a soundtrack featuring Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," which features prominently in Sylvester Stallone's 1982 film Rocky III.

"Mickey Rourke is a serious guy, he has been a professional boxer," Filichkin said. "He has been training with one of the best boxing trainers in the world. If I am successful in challenging him it will be the biggest fight of my life."

Rourke gave up boxing 20 years ago to concentrate on his acting career. In 2009 he was nominated for a best acting Oscar for playing an aging sportsman making a comeback in The Wrestler.

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