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CONRAD CHALLENGES ROURKE

Actor Robert Conrad is daring Mickey Rourke to knock the battery off his shoulder.

Conrad was in the audience last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when Rourke, 34, made his professional boxing debut by defeating journeyman Steve Powell in a bout marked by Rourke's clowning and attempts to throw Powell out of the ring."I take my athletics seriously," said Conrad, 56, who's known for the commercials in which he challenges anyone to knock a battery off his shoulder. "I left the fight after the third round because throwing guys out of the ring is not fighting to me. I don't take myself seriously and Mickey Rourke shouldn't either. . . . But I'll tell you, he won't be throwing me out of the ring."

Conrad said he was offered a shot at Rourke but refused because the purse was too small.