The two heavyweights are headlining the Adrenaline 3 card on Saturday at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Facing the alternative option of canceling the fight (the fight had already been postponed once already), promoter Monte Cox decide Thursday to promote the fight under even more lopsided conditions by pitting the 48-year-old Mercer against Sylvia, a former UFC heavyweight champion.
Mercer has zero MMA fights and his one "exhibition" MMA bout was a loss to Kimbo Slice via submission. Under boxing rules, Mercer, a former WBO boxing champion, stood a chance to win, but in a mixed martial arts bout, this could be the biggest mismatch since Hong-Man Choi vs. Jose Canseco.
Whether or not the two will engage in the bout with a gentleman's agreement will be seen on Saturday.
The Association of Boxing Commissions labeled the fight "unwarranted and illegal," supporting the New Jersey Athletic Control Board's decision to not sanction the matchup.
Referee John McCarthy as well as the River Cree Combative Sports Commission had agreed to step away from the match after pressure from the ABC.
"Canadian boxing commissions are not authorized to supervise boxing matches in the US, and, patently, it is wholly inappropriate for one representative from a Canadian boxing commission, together with an MMA referee, to supervise a boxing match," said Bruce C. Spizler, the Chairman of the ABC Legal Committee.
Also on the card are Rich Clementi (34-14) vs. Sasuke Zapata (17-0) and Jeremy Horn (80-19-5) vs. Chris Davis (5-0).