There's an unsanctioned fight Saturday night in Alabama between over-the-hill boxer Ray Mercer and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, the kind of ridiculous fight that gives combat sports a bad name. But the fight just got even more ridiculous, because just two days beforehand, the promoters have changed it from a boxing match to an MMA fight.
The fight was scheduled to be a boxing match in Alabama because Alabama doesn't have an athletic commission, and no state that does have an athletic commission would sanction it. But promoter Monte Cox tells Sherdog that he just found out that he can get in trouble for trying to circumvent state commissions:
"I got a call from the Pennsylvania commissioner saying that the boxing match is illegal because we weren't getting regulated by a U.S. commission," said Cox on Thursday.So now the fight will go on, but under MMA rules instead of boxing rules. That makes me fear for Mercer's safety, because Mercer's only MMA experience is a loss to Kimbo Slice.
About the only person who comes out of this looking good is ref Big John McCarthy, who told Sherdog, "As soon as it became apparent that that would not happen, I pulled out." I wish Sylvia, Mercer and Cox would do the wise thing and pull out, too.