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Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski boxing debuts postponed

Former UFC heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski will have to make their boxing debuts at a later date than planned.

Sylvia was slated to take on former WBO heavyweight boxing champ Ray Mercer in the main event of the "Adrenaline 3" MMA event on May 30 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but according to, promoter Monte Cox was informed late Monday that the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has refused to sanction the bout. Cox will look to promote the fight elsewhere, possibly in June.

Sylvia will be making his professional boxing debut after eight years as a MMA fighter. It was initially planned for him to fight Mercer in a mixed martal arts bout but considering Mercer is 47 years old, Cox felt the fight would be more compelling under boxing rules. Mercer is 0-1 in MMA, though the fight was classified as an exhibition, losing to Kimbo Slice via guillotine choke at Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5 in June 2007.

Arlovski was scheduled to make his boxing debut on April 11 on the undercard of the Winky Wright vs. Paul Williams HBO boxing card in Las Vegas. However, a minor hip injury will set back his debut to May. Arlovski is currently in Bulgaria shooting "Universal Soldiers: The Next Generation" with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.