Ray Mercer

Ray Mercer
Born April 4, 1961 (1961-04-04) (age 50)
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Other names Merciless
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 256 lb (116 kg; 18.3 st)
Division Heavyweight
Style Boxing
Fighting out of Fayetteville, North Carolina
Years active 1988-present
Professional boxing record
Total 44
Wins 36
By knockout 26
Losses 7
Draws 1
Kickboxing record
Total 2
Wins 0
Losses 2
Draws 0
Mixed martial arts record
Total 1
Wins 1
By knockout 1
Losses 0
By disqualification 0
Other information
Boxing record from Boxrec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Olympic medal record
Men's Boxing
Competitor for  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1988 Seoul Heavyweight

"Merciless" Ray Mercer (born April 4, 1961 in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American professional boxer, and former WBO World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist who resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He has also competed in kickboxing and mixed martial arts.


Boxing career


Mercer was the 1988 United States Amateur Champion at Heavyweight while in the US Army and compiled an Amateur record of 64-6. He won Gold in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul as a heavyweight. In 1989, Mercer fought Barry Flowers (USAF) which contributed to a K.O. win in the 7th round.

Olympic results

  • 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, laboured 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 Hepititis B and was again inactive, this time for 20 months.


In February 2001 a 42 year old Mercer launched a final comeback, knocking out four journeymen before being matched with WBO champ 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

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. He was knocked down in the first round and went on to lose 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

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.[1]

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. He then called out Eric Esch after the fight.

In March 2010, it was announced that Mercer had signed with the King of the Cage organization.[2]

Professional boxing record

36 Wins (26 knockouts, 10 decisions), 7 Losses (2 knockouts, 5 decisions), 1 Draw [2]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 36-7-1 Netherlands Richel Hersisia MD 6 05/09/2008 Sweden Nojesfabriken, Karlstad, Sweden, Sweden Mercer, at age 47, became the second oldest former heavyweight champion to win a sanctioned professional bout with a six round majority decision win over "Dutch Sonny Liston" Richel Hersisia (George Foreman was the oldest with his win over Lou Savarese for the WBU Heavyweight title in 1997).
Loss 35-7-1 United States Derric Rossy UD 12 26/01/2008 China Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao S.A.R., China For interim WBO NABO, vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council & WBF International Heavyweight titles.
Win 35-6-1 Sweden Mikael Lindblad KO 1 (?) 15/09/2005 Sweden Lofberg Arena, Karlstad, Sweden
Loss 34-6-1 United States Shannon Briggs KO 7 (10) 26/08/2005 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States Mercer was knocked out by 3 right hooks to the head.
Win 34-5-1 United States Darroll Wilson UD 10 24/06/2005 United States Nikki Beach Concert Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 33-5-1 United States Steve Pannell TKO 3 (10) 28/02/2004 United States Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida, United States
Win 32-5-1 United States Shawn Robinson TKO 3 (10) 11/11/2003 United States Caesars Indiana, Elizabeth, Indiana, United States
Win 31-5-1 United States Mario Cawley KO 3 (10) 23/08/2003 United States Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida, United States
Loss 30-5-1 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko TKO 6 (12) 29/06/2002 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States For WBO Heavyweight title. Mercer was knocked down in the 1st round and suffered a cut over the right eye in the 5th round. Klitschko also suffered some battle wounds as his eyes puffed up as a result of Mercer's jab in the 3rd. Referee stopped the fight after a barrage of unanswered power punches in the 6th round.
Win 30-4-1 United States Troy Weida KO 1 (10) 23/02/2002 United States Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Mercer stopped Weida in 28 seconds.
Win 29-4-1 United States Brian Scott KO 2 (10) 13/10/2001 Denmark Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark
Win 28-4-1 United States Don Steele KO 5 (10) 17/03/2001 United States Silver Star Casino, Philadelphia, Mississippi, United States Steele had substantial swelling under both eyes by the end of the 3rd round. This was the 2nd consecutive fight that Mercer knocked his opponent out of the ring.
Win 27-4-1 United States Jeff Pegues TKO 2 (10) 11/02/2001 United States Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, Illinois, United States Mercer proved to be Mr. Merciless. Pegues was knocked out of the ring. Pegues took several consecutive hard unanswered shots before the referee finally stepped in an halted the onslaught.
Win 26-4-1 United States Jimmy Haynes KO 1 (10) 18/12/1999 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United States
Win 25-4-1 United States Leo Loiacono KO 2 (10) 21/02/1998 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, United States
Win 24-4-1 United States Tim Witherspoon UD 10 14/12/1996 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States It was a very close fight. Compubox numbers: Witherspoon landed 280 punches of 471 (59 %), Mercer landed 255 punches of 528 (48 %).
Loss 23-4-1 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis MD 10 10/05/1996 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States It was a true slugfest from start to finish. HBO's judge Harold Lederman scored the fight 95-95 on his unofficial scorecard.
Loss 23-3-1 United States Evander Holyfield UD 10 20/05/1995 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Holyfield was examined for a bad right eye cut in round 7. Mercer down for the first time in his career in the 8th round.
Draw 23-2-1 United States Marion Wilson SD 10 28/07/1994 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 23–2 United States Jesse Ferguson SD 10 19/11/1993 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States CompuBox reported Mercer landing 244/679 punches (36%), and Ferguson landing 199/447 punches (45%).
Win 22–2 United States Mark Wills UD 10 06/10/1993 United States Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 21–2 United States Tony Willis KO 1 (10) 12/08/1993 United States Casino Magic, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, United States
Loss 20–2 United States Jesse Ferguson UD 10 06/02/1993 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 20–1 United States Jerry Halstead RTD 2 (12) 10/12/1992 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Halstead did not answer the bell for round 3.
Win 19–1 United States Mike Dixon TKO 7 (10) 07/10/1992 United States Augusta, Georgia, United States
Loss 18–1 United States Larry Holmes UD 12 07/02/1992 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Mercer got "taken to school" by Holmes, who used jabs and aggressive combinations to outpoint him. The WBO Heavyweight title which Mercer had held was relinquished before this bout.
Win 18–0 United States Tommy Morrison TKO 5 (12) 18/10/1991 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Retained WBO Heavyweight title. Morrison was outboxing Mercer and leading on all the scorecards when in 5th round he was caught by a barrage of over 15 unanswered punches. This bout is viewed as one of the most brutal KOs in heavyweight history.
Win 17–0 Italy Francesco Damiani KO 9 (12) 11/01/1991 United States Taj Majal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won WBO Heavyweight title. Damiani went down after a Mercer left uppercut broke his nose, and he was counted out by the referee.
Win 16–0 United States Bert Cooper UD 12 05/08/1990 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won NABF Heavyweight title. Cooper down in round 1.
Win 15–0 United States Lionel Washington TKO 4 (10) 31/05/1990 United States War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York, United States
Win 14–0 United States Kimmuel Odum UD 12 02/03/1990 United States Hacienda Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight title.
Win 13–0 United States Wesley Watson TKO 5 (12) 15/01/1990 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 12–0 Puerto Rico Ossie Ocasio SD 8 07/12/1989 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–0 United States Jerry Jones UD 8 14/11/1989 United States South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, United States
Win 10–0 United States Eddie Richardson TKO 1 (8) 17/10/1989 United States State Fair, Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 9–0 United States Arthel Lawhorne TKO 2 (10) 19/09/1989 United States Veteran's Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Win 8–0 United States Dino Homsey TKO 1 (8) 05/09/1989 United States Harrah's Hotel & Casino, Stateline, Nevada, United States Three knockdown rule. Televised on ESPN.
Win 7–0 United States Tracy Thomas KO 1 (6) 15/08/1989 United States South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, United States
Win 6–0 United States Al Evans KO 1 (10) 15/07/1989 United States Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 5–0 United States Ken Crosby KO 1 (?) 12/06/1989 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–0 United States David Hopkins KO 1 (4) 16/05/1989 United States Tyndall Armory, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 3–0 United States Garing Lane UD 4 28/03/1989 United States Showboat Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 2–0 United States Luis Walford KO 1 (?) 04/03/1989 United States Civic Center, Bismarck, North Dakota, United States
Win 1–0 United States Jesse McGhee TKO 3 (?) 24/02/1989 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Pro debut for the 1988 Heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist Mercer.

Kickboxing record

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

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1–0 United States Tim Sylvia KO (punch) Adrenaline MMA 3: Bragging Rights 02009-06-13 June 13, 2009 1 0:09 Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Mixed martial arts exhibition match record

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0–1 United States Kimbo Slice Submission (guillotine choke) Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5 02007-06-23 June 23, 2007 1 1:12 Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Boxing accomplishments

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


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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