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Tim Sylvia vs Ray Mercer moved to Alabama to escape sanctioning

When in doubt, move the bout.

After the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) refused to sanction a main event fight between former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and former Olympic gold medalist and world heavyweight boxing champion Ray Mercer, promoter Monte Cox has taken his Adrenaline III card and shipped it to the BJCC Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, where no regulatory body exists to oversee the fight, according to

Originally scheduled for May 30 at the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., the hybrid boxing-mixed martial arts event will go down on June 13.

"The Maine-iac" has agreed to box Mercer — barely one month after "Merciless" turns 48 years of age — not long after calling out Ken Shamroid last December. Sylvia has been on the shelf since getting steamrolled by Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction "Banned" last July and was not expected to fight an MMA match until a planned third event this summer.

From Sylvia:

I didn’t have an MMA fight until July in the Affliction 3 (show), and we really wanted to fight before then. This opportunity came about – and I’ve always wanted to try boxing at a pro level – so we decided to take it and see what happens. I’m jumping in the deep end. I never have (done things half way). Look at the heavyweight (MMA) division; I’ve fought about seven of the Top 10. So I might as well jump right in there and fight a guy that’s ranked in the Top 20 in the world."

Mercer’s last bout was a majority decision win (boxing) over Richel Hersisiar last September in Nojesfabriken, Karlstad, Sweden, but is probably best known in the MMA world for getting choked out in an exhibition bout with Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson in July 2007.

Cox must really want to see Sylvia fight Mercer. The question is, do fans?

What say you?

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