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Tim Sylvia and Ray Mercer To Fight Under MMA Rules After Boxing Match Deemed Illegal

Tim SylviaA scheduled boxing match between former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and former boxing champion Ray Mercer that was to headline Adenaline III has been scrapped, with the pair of former champions now set to square off in an MMA-rules bout this Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Details on the switch from Sherdog:

Association of Boxing Commissions President Tim Lueckenhoff told that neither he nor the ABC organization had been approached directly to regulate the bout. Further, Lueckenhoff said he’d thought Sylvia-Mercer would be an MMA contest and not a boxing bout. Lueckenhoff said federal law currently has no jurisdiction over MMA bouts, but laws are in place over boxing under the Professional Boxing Safety Act.

In a press release issued by the ABC on Thursday, the organization denounced the “unwarranted and illegal” boxing match. The release also noted that the River Cree commission, as well as referee John McCarthy, had withdrawn their involvement from the bout and event.

“Canadian boxing commissions are not authorized to supervise boxing matches in the U.S.; 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, chairman of the ABC legal committee in the release.

“Everyone thinks I came to Alabama because it’s unsanctioned here,” said Cox, “but why would I go to so much trouble to try and get this event regulated if that were the case?”

The last-minute rules switch is just the latest snag for the fight, which was originally to take place on May 30th in Atlantic City, New Jersey before the state’s athletic commission declined to regulate the contest. It was then moved to Alabama, which lacks a commission to sanction the bout, where it was scheduled to take place under boxing rules in an MMA cage before being forced to take place under MMA rules just two days before the fight.

UFC veterans Rich Clementi and Jeremy Horn will also be in action on the card.

[Pictured: Tim Sylvia]


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