In an interview done with Steve Cofield yesterday, Jens Pulver warned his longtime friend and Miletich teammate Tim Sylvia that boxing is a different world from MMA, and he might be setting himself up for another career setback if he’s not taking Ray Mercer seriously. "I love [Sylvia] on a personal scale," Pulver said, "[but] professionally, sometimes you gotta step back and say ‘damn Tim, what are you doing?’"
In the absence of a currently operating boxing / athletic commission in Alabama, the boxing match was to be regulated by a representative of the River Cree Combative Sports Commission, a tribal boxing commission located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and the bout was to be refereed by John McCarthy, a renowned MMA referee who, it is believed, to date, has not been licensed as a boxing referee…
Yesterday, when it was learned that the Sylvia-Mercer contest would be conducted as a boxing match (in a cage) in Alabama, [ABC president Tim] Lueckenhoff, noting that the federal law and its requirements then became applicable, said, “the ABC has not been requested to supervise, and it is not supervising, this boxing match.”
Bruce C. Spizler, the Chairman of the ABC Legal Committee, referencing provisions first enacted by Congress in 1996 as part of the Professional Boxing Safety Act, stated that no person may promote, or fight in, a professional boxing match held in a state that does not have a boxing commission unless the match is supervised (regulated) by a commission from another state or tribe in the U.S. which is authorized by state or tribal law to regulate professional boxing matches; and if no such commission is available to supervise the boxing match, the boxing match may not be held unless it is supervised by the ABC. “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,” Mr. Spizler said.
Greg Sirb, Past President of the ABC, contacted the River Cree Combative Sports Commission and MMA referee John McCarthy to reiterate the illegalities and improprieties attendant to the Sylvia-Mercer boxing match. Last night, in the aftermath of the advisements and protestations of Mr. Sirb, the representative from the River Cree, as well as MMA referee John McCarthy, withdrew from the scheduled Sylvia-Mercer boxing match.
To save the main event (and his promoter’s license), Monte Cox has declared that the Maine-iac and Merciless will be going back to the original plan of getting down MMA-style; that way, they don’t need a fancy boxing committee to oversee the event. In fact, the event won’t be regulated at all. Said Big John McCarthy to Sherdog: “I told the promoter I would do it if it was a sanctioned event. As soon as it became apparent that that would not happen, I pulled out.”
Of course, there could be a gentleman’s agreement in place between Sylvia and Mercer to just throw hands — but that sort of thing doesn’t always work out either. And all of a sudden, Timmy is a favorite in this fight again…