Ray Mercer

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Ray Mercer
Born Raymond Anthony Mercer
(1961-04-04) April 4, 1961 (age 55)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Other names Merciless
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 255 lb (116 kg; 18.2 st)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 77 in
Style Boxer-puncher
Stance Orthodox
Years active 1989–2008
Professional boxing record
Total 44
Wins 36
By knockout 26
Losses 7
By knockout 2
Draws 1
Kickboxing record
Total 2
Losses 2
By knockout 1
Mixed martial arts record
Total 2
Wins 1
By knockout 1
Losses 1
Amateur career
Total 1
Losses 1
By knockout 1
Medal record
Men's Boxing
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Heavyweight

Ray Mercer (born April 4, 1961) is an American former professional boxer who held the WBO heavyweight title. He boxed from 1989 to 2008, defeating four boxing world champions in Ossie Ocasio, Francesco Damiani, Tommy Morrison and Tim Witherspoon. Mercer also competed in several kickboxing and mixed martial arts bouts from 2004 to 2009, most notably scoring an upset one-punch knockout victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in 2009.

Boxing career[edit]


Mercer was the 1988 United States Amateur Champion at Heavyweight while in the US Army[1] and compiled an Amateur record of 64-6. He won Gold in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul as a heavyweight.

Olympic results[edit]


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.

Kickboxing career[edit]

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". [1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

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.[2]

Kimbo Slice won the fight in the first round with a guillotine choke submission.

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.

In March 2010, it was announced that Mercer had signed with the King of the Cage organization.[3]

Professional boxing record[edit]

36 Wins (26 knockouts, 10 decisions), 7 Losses (2 knockouts, 5 decisions), 1 Draw [4]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 36-7-1 Netherlands Richel Hersisia MD 6 2008-09-05 Sweden Nojesfabriken, Karlstad, Sweden, Sweden
Loss 35-7-1 United States Derric Rossy UD 12 2008-01-26 China Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao S.A.R., China For Interim NABO & vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council heavyweight titles.
Win 35-6-1 Sweden Mikael Lindblad KO 1 (?) 2005-09-15 Sweden Lofbergs Lila Arena, Karlstad, Sweden
Loss 34-6-1 United States Shannon Briggs KO 7 (10) 2005-08-26 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida
Win 34-5-1 United States Darroll Wilson UD 10 2005-06-24 United States Nikki Beach Concert Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 33-5-1 United States Steve Pannell TKO 3 (10) 2004-02-28 United States Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida
Win 32-5-1 United States Shawn Robinson TKO 3 (10) 2003-11-11 United States Caesars Indiana, Elizabeth, Indiana
Win 31-5-1 United States Mario Cawley KO 3 (10) 2003-08-23 United States Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida
Loss 30-5-1 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko TKO 6 (12) 2002-06-29 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey For WBO heavyweight title.
Win 30-4-1 United States Troy Weida KO 1 (10) 2002-02-23 United States Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 29-4-1 United States Brian Scott KO 2 (10) 2001-10-13 Denmark Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark
Win 28-4-1 United States Don Steele KO 5 (10) 2001-03-17 United States Silver Star Casino, Choctaw, Neshoba County, Mississippi
Win 27-4-1 United States Jeff Pegues TKO 2 (10) 2001-02-11 United States Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, Illinois
Win 26-4-1 United States Jimmy Haynes KO 1 (10) 1999-12-18 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi
Win 25-4-1 United States Leo Loiacono KO 2 (10) 1998-02-21 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami
Win 24-4-1 United States Tim Witherspoon UD 10 1996-12-14 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 23-4-1 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis MD 10 1996-05-10 United States Madison Square Garden, New York
Loss 23-3-1 United States Evander Holyfield UD 10 1995-05-20 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Draw 23-2-1 United States Marion Wilson SD 10 1994-07-28 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 23–2 United States Jesse Ferguson SD 10 1993-11-19 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 22–2 United States Mark Wills UD 10 1993-10-06 United States Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 21–2 United States Tony Willis KO 1 (10) 1993-08-12 United States Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Loss 20–2 United States Jesse Ferguson UD 10 1993-02-06 United States Madison Square Garden, New York Mercer investigated for trying to bribe Ferguson.[5]
Win 20–1 United States Jerry Halstead RTD 2 (12) 1992-12-10 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 19–1 United States Mike Dixon TKO 7 (10) 1992-10-07 United States Augusta, Georgia
Loss 18–1 United States Larry Holmes UD 12 1992-02-07 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 18–0 United States Tommy Morrison TKO 5 (12) 1991-10-18 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained WBO heavyweight title.
Win 17–0 Italy Francesco Damiani KO 9 (12) 1991-01-11 United States Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won WBO heavyweight title.
Win 16–0 United States Bert Cooper UD 12 1990-08-05 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won NABF heavyweight title.
Win 15–0 United States Lionel Washington TKO 4 (10) 1990-05-31 United States War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York
Win 14–0 United States Kimmuel Odum UD 12 1990-03-02 United States Hacienda Hotel, Las Vegas Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title.
Win 13–0 United States Wesley Watson TKO 5 (12) 1990-01-15 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 12–0 Puerto Rico Ossie Ocasio SD 8 1989-12-07 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Win 11–0 United States Jerry Jones UD 8 1989-11-14 United States South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey
Win 10–0 United States Eddie Richardson TKO 1 (8) 1989-10-17 United States State Fair, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 9–0 United States Arthel Lawhorne TKO 2 (10) 1989-09-19 United States Veterans Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Win 8–0 United States Dino Homsey TKO 1 (8) 1989-09-05 United States Harrah's Hotel & Casino, Stateline, Nevada
Win 7–0 United States Tracy Thomas KO 1 (6) 1989-08-15 United States South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey
Win 6–0 United States Al Evans KO 1 (10) 1989-07-15 United States Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 5–0 United States Ken Crosby KO 1 (?) 1989-06-12 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Win 4–0 United States David Hopkins KO 1 (4) 1989-05-16 United States Tyndall Armory, Indianapolis
Win 3–0 United States Garing Lane UD 4 1989-03-28 United States Showboat Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Win 2–0 United States Luis Walford KO 1 (?) 1989-03-04 United States Civic Center, Bismarck, North Dakota
Win 1–0 United States Jesse McGhee TKO 3 (?) 1989-02-24 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey Professional debut.

Kickboxing record[edit]

0 Wins (0 (T) KO's, 0 decision), 2 Losses
Date Result Record Opponent Event Method Round Time Location
March 15, 2005 Loss 0–2 Netherlands Remy Bonjasky K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Seoul TKO (Right High Kick) 1 0:22 South Korea Seoul, South Korea
June 6, 2004 Loss 0–1 Japan Musashi K-1 World Grand Prix 2004 in Nagoya Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 Japan Nagoya, Japan

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1–0 Tim Sylvia KO (punch) Adrenaline MMA 3: Bragging Rights June 13, 2009 1 0:09 Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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

Boxing accomplishments[edit]

Preceded by
Bert Cooper
NABF Heavyweight Champion
August 5, 1990 – January 11, 1991
Succeeded by
Orlin Norris
Preceded by
Francesco Damiani
WBO World Heavyweight Championship
January 11, 1991 – December 24, 1991
Succeeded by
Michael Moorer
Preceded by
Michael Bentt
United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion
Succeeded by
Javier Alvarez


External links[edit]