After 15 years outside of the ring, actor and before-and-after diptych star Mickey Rourke is returning to boxing. His manager confirmed yesterday that the 62-year old will be traveling to Russia this winter to fight 29-year-old Elliot Seymour in a bout we’re sure will be both gruesomely compelling and unwatchable – not unlike "The Wrestler."
Despite losing his good looks in the nineties to eight hard-fought boxing matches (facial reconstructions left Rourke with a near-unrecognizable mug), the “Iron Man” baddy and lover of tiny dogs is crowing about his return to the ring, saying he always dreamed of fighting a match in Russia. We’re not so sure this is such a good idea. We, of course, totally support his fighting – the guy has the lean and muscular physique of a man twenty years his junior - but would politely suggest that maybe he should choose his opponents a bit more wisely.
We’d rather see this this bag of animated shoe-leather in the ring with the thespians who spent two decades taking roles he could have nailed. Here, we handicap the Hollywood fighting career Rourke won’t, but should, have:
Mickey Rourke vs. Sylvester Stallone
This is a close one. While Mickey may not be a stranger to the needle, Stallone is an ardent advocate and guzzler of Human Growth Hormone. Ultimately, we’re calling it for Rourke: Stallone’s got tons of meat, but the molasses reflexes of a circa-1989 Jordan Belfort.
Mickey Rourke vs. Mark Wahlberg
While Marky Mark originally used that physique to get his Calvin Klein contract, these days it looks like those grizzled pecs have as much “go” as “show.” He’s still hanging on to that pretty-boy image, though—Mickey, on the other hand, gave up protecting his face in ‘91. Winner: Rourke.
Mickey Rourke vs. Christian Bale
This match is dependent on what part of his cycle of extreme weight loss and gain Bale happens to be in. Bale is definitely violent, but you can’t fake mass. As a brooding 120-lb maniac (The Machinist, The Fighter), Bale would fall; as a 190-lb beefcake (Batman, American Psycho), we’d call it for the Welshman.
Mickey Rourke vs. Russell Crowe
Do a proclivity for boxing and anger management issues go hand in hand? Who’s to say, but you better believe the gladiator would come out swinging. Though Crowe has age on his side, we’re going to give it to Rourke: Persistent American mania beats grubby Australian frustration every time.
Mickey Rourke vs. Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank is tenacious and, though she’s waned a bit since Million Dollar Baby, we’re sure she could gain those 20 pounds of muscle right back. Whatever Rourke has in strength, Swank has in rage. Calling it for Hollywood’s toughest actress.
Photos by Geodakyan Artyom /ITAR-TASS Photo / Corbis