Mickey Rourke has beaten boxing opponent 33 years his junior
HOLLYWOOD actor Mickey Rourke has returned to the boxing ring to defeat an opponent 33 years his junior.
In his first fight in 20 years he defeated fellow American Elliot Seymour, 29, in the second round when the referee stopped the fight.
Rourke, 62, fought the exhibition match in Moscow, where the crowd chanted 'Misha' in his honour, and plans to take part in a further four bouts in Russia.
He trained as a boxer as a young man and returned to it for three years in the 1990s after an acting career that included films such as 9½ Weeks.
During his professional career he went undefeated in eight fights and went on to act in several more films, including Get Carter and The Rainmaker.
He won an Oscar nomination for his performance in the 2008 film The Wrestler.
Rourke lost 35lbs while training for the exhibition fight and suggested the sport had helped him cope with several personal issues, though he did not elaborate.
"I've got some things going on in my life so that [boxing has] sort of saved me from myself," he said. "And for a man like me, it's better to live in fear than go on in shame."
His dressing room contained a shrine featuring candles, images of saints, and photographs of his dogs. He said he had been in mourning for his recently-deceased Chihuahua.
He took to the ring in a Stetson hat, a red-and-gold robe and shiny gold gloves, repeatedly crossing himself.
Seymour is ranked 256th in the US but recorded just one win during his professional career and nine losses.