Whether he’s sparring or speaking, Mickey Rourke pulls no punches. The actor and boxer says he loves New York and loathes Los Angeles.
“I just hate it there; I never liked it,” he tells The Post before walking in the Philipp Plein-owned Billionaire show. “I’m here for a few days looking for a house to move back. I want to live in the West Village, where it all started. There are very few lofts there, so I’ll probably end up in Tribeca, but I would prefer the West Village.”
Will he miss the City of Angels? “Not even a little bit.”
The “Wrestler” star, who brought one of his fluffy black-and-white Pomeranians, Egor, to Plein’s black-tie event, admits that he has found a healthy lifestyle back in La-La Land. “I went there to go back to the boxing, really, because Freddie Roach is my trainer. Our gym was there, and it kept me very disciplined. I don’t go out and drink anymore. I’m not in all the wrong places. I’ve got a really set routine — that’s training twice a day, or three times a day 12 weeks before a fight. Boxing is 90 percent cardio.”
The 66-year-old has suffered serious health consequences from the glove game, including what he describes as a loss of equilibrium and shaky hands.
“I got several concussions over the years; knocked out only once in practice,” he says. “I got diagnosed with short-term memory loss. I would drive somewhere and forget that I drove my car and take a cab back. It was bad. Or somebody would be talking to me, and I would not retain what they’re saying. I could remember s–t from a long time ago, but I couldn’t remember the night before.”
Despite the lapses, Rourke wanted to continue sparring in the ring. “I said to the doctor, ‘Three more [fights] and I could get a title fight.’ And he said, ‘You can’t get hit in the head one more time. You gotta hang it up now.’ He said, ‘Once you cross over to the other side, you can’t go back.’ ”
Rourke heeded his advice, and saw improvement with his memory. “As two or three years went by, it came back again.”
And soon the gloves will be on again. “I’m not going to fight until August,” says the Golden Globe winner, who stars in the upcoming “Night Walk” and “Legionnaire’s Trail.” “But I’ve got three movies before then.”
As for his love life, the onetime playboy says it’s nonexistent. “I don’t have a girlfriend now. I haven’t for four or five years. I have five dogs. No. 1 usually comes, but he passed away seven days ago,” says Rourke, referring to his late Pomeranian and showing off a forearm tattoo in honor of the pooch.
And with that, he sits in a makeup chair, nestles Egor in his lap, and waits for his moment in the spotlight.
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