|Born||Raymond Anthony Mercer
April 4, 1961
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Reach||77 in (196 cm)|
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
Raymond Anthony "Ray" Mercer (born April 4, 1961) is an American former professional boxer, kickboxer, and mixed martial artist. In boxing he competed from 1989 to 2008, and held the WBO heavyweight title from 1991 to 1992. As an amateur he won a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1988 Summer Olympics. As a mixed martial artist, Mercer is known for scoring an upset one-punch knockout victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in 2009.
- 1st round bye
- Defeated Rudolf Gavenčiak (Czechoslovakia) RSC 3
- Defeated Luigi Gaudiano (Italy) KO 1
- Defeated Arnold Vanderlyde (Netherlands) RSC 2
- Defeated Baik Hyun-Man (South Korea) KO 1
Mercer turned pro in 1989 with a 3rd TKO of Jesse Hughes. He scored a series of knockouts and in August 1990 knocked down and outpointed big punching Smokin' Bert Cooper in a spectacular 12 round brawl that earned him Cooper's NABF title. In January 1991 he challenged undefeated Francesco Damiani for the WBO heavyweight title, scoring a one punch knockout victory in the 9th when behind on points. Later that year he brutally demolished undefeated puncher Tommy Morrison in five, and with a major world title fight on the horizon vacated his WBO belt and fought 42-year-old legend Larry Holmes rather than mandatory challenger Michael Moorer. It proved an unwise decision, as the crafty Holmes conned Mercer out of the fight, outjabbing the puzzled youngster and gaining both the points decision, and Mercer's world title fight with heavyweight king Evander Holyfield.
Having split fights with dangerous veteran Jesse Ferguson (Mercer was investigated for allegedly asking Ferguson to "throw the fight" during their first encounter), labored when overweight to a draw with trialhorse Marion Wilson, and seen a proposed 1994 bout in Hong Kong with Frank Bruno fall through, Mercer enjoyed an unexpected run of form in major fights, losing on points in a thrilling brawl with Holyfield in May 1995, losing a controversial decision in another wild punch up, this time with Lennox Lewis, in June 1996, and scoring a controversial points win over ex-champ Tim Witherspoon in yet another high action bout in December 1996. In the frame for a bout with Andrew Golota in 1997, Mercer suffered a neck injury and was out of action for 14 months. He returned February 1998 with a 2 round kayo of Leo Loiacono, but contracted Hepatitis B and was again inactive, this time for 20 months.
In February 2001 a 39-year-old Mercer launched a final comeback, knocking out four journeymen before being matched with WBO title holder Wladimir Klitschko in a high profile bout on HBO. Once famed for his incredible iron chin, Mercer looked his age and was knocked down in the first and stopped in the 6th. A brief dalliance in the mixed martial arts nixed a 2004 bout with DaVarryl Williamson, however he did return to boxing in 2005, now aged 44, but was stopped in seven by Shannon Briggs.
Continuing to seek a fighting career, Mercer opted to travel to Japan and challenged Musashi in the kickboxing combat sport K-1 on June 6, 2004. Mercer held a reasonable account of himself, but his age and inability to successfully defend kicks was evident as he went on to lose the bout via unanimous decision. On March 19, 2005, he had one more K-1 bout against Remy Bonjasky, to whom he lost via verbal submission, the first and only strike of the night, a head kick, would land on the square on the head of Mercer. It wasn't your typical fight; Mercer took one head kick and then quit in what was one of the most bizarre fights of all time as the kick didn't even seem to hurt him. As Mercer put it, "I got the shit kicked out of me". 
Mixed martial arts career
After a series of scheduled boxing matchups fell through (including a proposed bout against former champion Hasim Rahman), Mercer decided to try mixed martial arts (MMA) and approached Felix Martinez, co-founder of Cage Fury Fighting Championships, about working with the promotion. On March 21, 2007, Cage Fury announced that Mercer had signed to face underground street fighter and Internet legend Kimbo Slice at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on June 23, 2007, as part of Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5. The bout was a non-sanctioned exhibition under the New Jersey Unified MMA rules.
Mercer later stated in the press conference at Adrenaline III: Bragging Rights when he was scheduled to fight Tim Sylvia under MMA rules instead of Boxing rules that he had expected Kimbo Slice to box with him and said that he did not really train in any other aspect of MMA and was unprepared for the guillotine choke.
On June 13, 2009, Mercer made a big splash when he defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at Adrenaline III: Bragging Rights. He won the fight via knockout in 9 seconds with a huge right hand to the chin, becoming the first man to ever defeat Sylvia by knockout.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|44 fights||36 wins||7 losses|
|44||Win||36–7–1||Richel Hersisia||MD||6||Sep 5, 2008||Nöjesfabriken, Karlstad, Sweden|
|43||Loss||35–7–1||Derric Rossy||UD||12||Jan 26, 2008||Venetian Arena, Macau, SAR||For vacant WBC–ABCO, WBF International, and WBO–NABO interim heavyweight titles|
|42||Win||35–6–1||Mikael Lindblad||KO||1, 1:50||Sep 15, 2005||Löfbergs Arena, Karlstad, Sweden|
|41||Loss||34–6–1||Shannon Briggs||KO||7 (10), 0:41||Aug 26, 2005||Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.|
|40||Win||34–5–1||Darroll Wilson||UD||10||Jun 24, 2005||Nikki Beach Concert Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|39||Win||33–5–1||Steve Pannell||TKO||3 (10), 0:50||Feb 28, 2004||Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida, U.S.|
|38||Win||32–5–1||Shawn Robinson||TKO||3 (10), 1:49||Nov 11, 2003||Caesars, Elizabeth, Indiana, U.S.|
|37||Win||31–5–1||Mario Cawley||KO||3 (10), 1:08||Aug 23, 2003||Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida, U.S.|
|36||Loss||30–5–1||Wladimir Klitschko||TKO||6 (12), 1:08||Jun 29, 2002||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||For WBO heavyweight title|
|35||Win||30–4–1||Troy Weida||TKO||1 (10), 0:28||Feb 23, 2002||Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|34||Win||29–4–1||Brian Scott||KO||2 (10), 0:57||Oct 13, 2001||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark|
|33||Win||28–4–1||Don Steele||KO||5 (10), 3:00||Mar 17, 2001||Silver Star Hotel & Casino, Choctaw, Mississippi, U.S.|
|32||Win||27–4–1||Jeff Pegues||TKO||2 (10), 2:59||Feb 11, 2001||Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, Illinois, U.S.|
|31||Win||26–4–1||Jimmy Haynes||KO||1 (10), 0:43||Dec 18, 1999||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.|
|30||Win||25–4–1||Leo Loiacono||KO||2 (10), 0:46||Feb 21, 1998||Miccosukee Resort and Gaming, Miami, Florida, U.S.|
|29||Win||24–4–1||Tim Witherspoon||UD||10||Dec 14, 1996||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|28||Loss||23–4–1||Lennox Lewis||MD||10||May 10, 1996||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|27||Loss||23–3–1||Evander Holyfield||UD||10||May 20, 1995||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|26||Draw||23–2–1||Marion Wilson||SD||10||Jul 28, 1994||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|25||Win||23–2||Jesse Ferguson||SD||10||Nov 19, 1993||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|24||Win||22–2||Mark Wills||UD||10||Oct 6, 1993||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|23||Win||21–2||Tony Willis||TKO||1 (10), 2:11||Aug 12, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|22||Loss||20–2||Jesse Ferguson||UD||10||Feb 6, 1993||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|21||Win||20–1||Jerry Halstead||RTD||3 (12), 0:01||Dec 10, 1992||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|20||Win||19–1||Mike Dixon||RTD||7 (10), 3:00||Oct 7, 1992||County Center, Augusta, Georgia, U.S.|
|19||Loss||18–1||Larry Holmes||UD||12||Feb 7, 1992||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|18||Win||18–0||Tommy Morrison||TKO||5 (12), 0:28||Oct 18, 1991||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBO heavyweight title|
|17||Win||17–0||Francesco Damiani||KO||9 (12), 2:47||Jan 11, 1991||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won WBO heavyweight title|
|16||Win||16–0||Bert Cooper||UD||12||Aug 5, 1990||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won NABF heavyweight title|
|15||Win||15–0||Lionel Washington||TKO||4 (10), 1:59||May 31, 1990||Community War Memorial, Rochester, New York, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||Kimmuel Odum||UD||12||Mar 2, 1990||Hacienda, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|13||Win||13–0||Wesley Watson||TKO||5 (10), 0:44||Jan 15, 1990||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Ossie Ocasio||SD||8||Dec 7, 1989||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Jerry Jones||UD||8||Nov 14, 1989||South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Eddie Richardson||TKO||1 (8), 2:16||Oct 17, 1989||State Fairgrounds, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Arthel Lawhorne||TKO||2 (10), 1:05||Sep 19, 1989||Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Dino Homsey||TKO||1 (8), 1:58||Sep 5, 1989||Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Tracy Thomas||KO||1 (6), 2:09||Aug 15, 1989||South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Al Evans||TKO||1 (6), 2:55||Jul 15, 1989||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Ken Crosby||KO||1 (6), 2:45||Jun 12, 1989||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||David Hopkins||KO||1 (4), 1:07||May 16, 1989||Tyndall Armory, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Garing Lane||UD||4||Mar 28, 1989||Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Luis Walford||KO||1||Mar 4, 1989||Civic Center, Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Jesse McGhee||TKO||3 (4), 0:30||Feb 24, 1989||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Professional debut|
Titles in boxing
|United States heavyweight champion
|NABF heavyweight champion
August 5, 1990 – January 1991
Title next held byOrlin Norris
|WBO heavyweight champion
January 11, 1991 – February 1992
Title next held byMichael Moorer
|March 15, 2005||Loss||0–2||Remy Bonjasky||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Seoul||TKO (Right High Kick)||1||0:22||Seoul, South Korea|
|June 6, 2004||Loss||0–1||Musashi||K-1 World Grand Prix 2004 in Nagoya||Decision (Unanimous)||3||3:00||Nagoya, Japan|
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|1 match||1 win||0 losses|
|Win||1–0||Tim Sylvia||KO (punch)||Adrenaline MMA 3: Bragging Rights||June 13, 2009||1||0:09||Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
|Loss||0–1||Kimbo Slice||Submission (guillotine choke)||Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5||June 23, 2007||1||1:12||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
- "Mercer Just May Be Sowing the Seeds for a High-Paying Career". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 1988.
- "Freak Show or Convert? Kimbo Slice Interview". MMAWeekly. June 22, 2007.
- "Ray Mercer Returns to Fight Undefeated Ron Sparks". MMAFighting.com. March 12, 2010.