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MOSCOW — Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke returned to the boxing ring Friday at the age of 62, defeating a fighter less than half his age in an exhibition bout. Rourke sent 29-year-old Pasadena native Elliot Seymour to the canvas twice in the second round before the referee stopped the fight.
The bout at a Moscow concert hall was Rourke’s first fight in 20 years. He took a break from acting in the early 1990s, finishing a three-year pro boxing career with six wins and two draws. He hinted that the return to the ring has helped him cope with unspecified personal issues.
“I’ve got some things going on in my life so that (boxing has) sort of saved me from myself,” Rourke told Russian TV. “And or a man like me, it's better to live in fear than go on in shame.”
He has said he plans to hold another four fights in Russia. He took to the ring Friday in a Stetson hat, a red-and-gold robe and shiny gold gloves, repeatedly crossing himself. Rourke, who had said he lost 35 pounds to prepare for the fight, was much thinner than in his best-known cinematic fighting persona, when he bulked up to play the title character in 2008’s “The Wrestler.”
Seymour, a former California Golden Gloves champion with a 1-9 pro record, did not land any significant blows on Rourke, whose previous boxing career left him with injuries that he has previously said necessitated extensive plastic surgery to his face.