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Hollywood tough guy Mickey Rourke is getting back in the boxing ring in Moscow, 20 years after hanging up his gloves to concentrate on acting.
Rourke, 62, will take on 29-year-old American boxer Elliot Seymour in a five-round match at the the Rossiya concert hall in downtown Moscow on Friday.
Rourke, who is being coached by Mike Roach — who has previously trained Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya — has lost 15 kilos (35 pounds) for the fight.
“Given his age, he is in a perfect shape,” Russian sports manager Maxim Kornilov told state news agency Tass.
“Mickey has been sparring with young boxers, and we’ll wait and see his performance in the ring,” he added. “I think he’ll cope with the task because he has a wealth of experience.”
Earlier this month the actor, who is romantically linked with Los Angeles-based Russian model Anastassija Makarenko, courted controversy when he purchased a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin at Moscow’s swanky GUM department store on Red Square.
Rourke told Britain’s Sky TV that he thinks the Russian president is a “real gentleman.”
In a video posted by the channel, he said: “I met him a couple of times, and he was a real gentleman, a very cool regular guy, looked me right in the eye. I think he is a good guy. If I didn’t, believe me I wouldn’t wear the T-shirt.”
Rourke, who received a best actor Oscar nomination for his critically acclaimed role in 2008’s The Wrestler, has since appeared in Iron Man 2 and The Expendables and was last seen in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which counts Russia’s Alexander Rodnyansky among its producers.
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