It's still hard to figure out why Tim Sylvia is fighting 48-year-old former heavyweight boxing Ray Mercer in a boxing match on Saturday. The former UFC champ meets Mercer in Birmingham, Alabama. It's a big risk for 33-year-old who fights out of Miletich Fighting Systems in Iowa. Sylvia has a big money fight on the way on August 1 against Paul Buentello at Affliction 3. From a perception standpoint, Sylvia is taking all the risk. His MFS-mate Jens Pulver told Cagewriter that he's confused about Sylvia's motives:
"I don't know what the goal is. I don't care how old Ray Mercer is, you don't win a world title unless you can thump. He's not to be messed with. We'll have to see what Tim can do with that."
Pulver, who has 33 pro MMA fights on his record has also boxed professionally five times:
"It's a whole different world. People talk about it (like they're the same sport) but do not confuse the two. Boxing and MMA are two different worlds. You look at someone like a (Floyd) Mayweather or a (Manny) Pacquiao who do that with just the hands, they're incredible."
He wonders if Sylvia is even taking the fight seriously:
"I think they're taking this as sparring, and they're going to find Mercer probably isn't taking this as a sparring bout."
Pulver is tight with Sylvia, who is godfather to his son, but "Little Evil" wonders sometimes about Sylvia professionally. What happens if he loses to Mercer after getting crushed by Fedor Emelianenko?
"This could be two big bumps in the road if he's not careful."
Mercer (36-7, 26 KOs) has only been stopped twice and both times came in his forties. That was against Shannon Briggs and Wladimir Klitschko. At best Sylvia will get a sloppy decision win. It should be interesting.
UPDATE: Sylvia has the clear advantage now with the fight being waged under MMA rules.
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