Actor Mickey Rourke paid a mentally ill homeless man to lose a boxing match to make him look good, reports say.
According to the Daily Mail, the 63-year-old's first fight after a two decade hiatus was fixed and opponent Elliott Seymour was paid to lose Friday's encounter. The newspaper's website also alleged that the film star was taking advantage of the man's mental health and unlucky circumstances.
A source close to Seymour's family said that "it was clearly a fixed fight," and that "the whole bouncing off the ropes, hands down punches were not landing and they were intentionally hitting each other's gloves."
They also suggested that Seymour's mental health had suffered after his boxing career took a turn for the worse. The 29-year-old's delusions of grandeur and anger issues allegedly resulted in his family getting a restraining order against him.
Another source, based at Seymour's gym, backed up the claims and suggested that Rourke's punches were so slow an infant could avoid them.
Seymour's family source also alleged that the troubled boxer had been sleeping on the streets for 18 months, and often wrote Facebook posts about being homeless. He was apparently approached by Rourke's associates while training at the Wild Card gym to organise his participation in the bout.
Rourke began his professional boxing career in 1991 after swapping amateur boxing for acting in the 1970s. He returned to the screen in the 90s, having recorded 6 wins and 2 draws as a pro boxer.
Some commentators have refuted the claims of match-fixing, suggesting that Rourke's victory was simply due to Seymour's weak abilities and poor professional boxing record.
Rourke has yet to comment on the allegations.