Steve Cofield lays out the stakes for Tim Sylvia in his boxing bout with Ray Mercer 10 days from now:
Tim Sylvia isn’t the biggest fan favorite. What happens if he loses to 98-year-old Ray Mercer in their boxing match on June 13? A loss to Mercer, who claims he’s really 48 but may be closer to 52, will forever brand Sylvia as the guy who embarrassed mixed martial artists. How will the casual sports and boxing fans react if they see Mercer beat a 33-year-old former UFC heavyweight champ just 26 months removed from his title reign? The ridicule will be unbearable.
You look at guys like Ken Shamrock and ask “How did he fall so far?” For the most part, it’s his hilariously brittle glass jaw. But combine that with the terrible career choices he’s made and you’ve got the recipe for a wash-up. Tim Sylvia has the advantage of not sucking … well, not in a way that will cost him all his fights like Ken. But he’s also got about 1/100th of the fan support Ken Shamrock had. If he loses against Mercer, what little interest anyone had in his career will shrink to the point where any event featuring Big Tim will come with free slot machine tokens for those in attendance. Or a dunk tank.
I wonder what boxing fans make of all this. We’re always making fun of our sketchy fight cousin when strange shit goes down there. But this is one of the least popular UFC champs boxing an elderly Ray Mercer … in an MMA cage. This is a fight so bad New Jersey wouldn’t sanction it so they moved it to Alabama. And it’s basically Monte Cox trying to Kimbo Tim Sylvia into boxing. Does Tim Sylvia really think this fight will make people in that sport take him seriously?