Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will be making his return to the ring on May 30th at Adrenaline III. The only difference this time is that there will be no kicking, knees or takedowns involved as he will be making his professional boxing debut against Ray Mercer.
Adrenaline owner and Sylvia’s manager, Monte Cox, confirmed Sylvia’s participation on the event at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“I was doing Tim Sylvia against Ray Mercer as a headliner,” Cox stated. “First I was doing it in MMA. We changed and thought it would be a lot more interesting in boxing.”
The 47-year-old Mercer holds a 36-7-1 professional boxing record, which includes a loss to Wladimir Klitschko in a WBO heavyweight title bout in 2002. He was recently in the spotlight after losing an exhibition MMA bout to street fighting sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson in 2007.
“You just have no idea who is going to win,” said Cox. “I don’t care if he’s 47 (years old). He’s been boxing his whole life, won an Olympic gold medal, went to split decision with Lennox Lewis. Believe me, he’s going to hit hard. Tim’s going to have a hard time.”
Cox is also already in talks with Affliction Entertainment regarding Sylvia’s next MMA fight. They are hoping to compete on Affliction’s third promotion later this summer.
“I’ve been in discussion with them for that,” Cox said. “A lot depends on what the date ends up being. Obviously we’re doing May 30. If [Affliction’s next show] is in July, we’re definitely interested.”
Sylvia hasn’t fought an MMA bout since he was humiliated in the 1stRound against WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at “Affliction: Banned” last July.
It is believed that fellow Affliction alum Paul Buentello will be Sylvia’s opponent if everything works out.