Raymond Anthony 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. In mixed martial arts, Mercer is known for scoring an upset one-punch knockout victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in 2009.

Amateur boxing career

Mercer started boxing at the age of 23 while serving in the U.S. Army[1] and compiled an amateur record of 64-6. He won Gold in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul as a heavyweight.

Olympic results

Professional boxing career

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 beat 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 Mercer 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 saw 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 KO 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

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, landed square on the head of Mercer. It wasn't your typical fight; Mercer took the head kick and then quit the fight.. 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.[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

Professional record summary
44 fights 36 wins 7 losses
By knockout 26 2
By decision 10 5
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
44 Win 36–7–1 Netherlands Richel Hersisia MD 6 Sep 5, 2008 Sweden Nöjesfabriken, Karlstad, Sweden
43 Loss 35–7–1 United States Derric Rossy UD 12 Jan 26, 2008 Macau Venetian Arena, Macau, SAR For vacant WBCABCO, WBF International, and WBO–NABO interim heavyweight titles
42 Win 35–6–1 Sweden Mikael Lindblad KO 1, 1:50 Sep 15, 2007 Sweden Löfbergs Arena, Karlstad, Sweden
41 Loss 34–6–1 United States Shannon Briggs KO 7 (10), 0:41 Aug 26, 2005 United States Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.
40 Win 34–5–1 United States Darroll Wilson UD 10 Jun 24, 2005 United States Nikki Beach Concert Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
39 Win 33–5–1 United States Steve Pannell TKO 3 (10), 0:50 Feb 28, 2004 United States Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida, U.S.
38 Win 32–5–1 United States Shawn Robinson TKO 3 (10), 1:49 Nov 11, 2003 United States Caesars, Elizabeth, Indiana, U.S.
37 Win 31–5–1 United States Mario Cawley KO 3 (10), 1:08 Aug 23, 2003 United States Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Florida, U.S.
36 Loss 30–5–1 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko TKO 6 (12), 1:08 Jun 29, 2002 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. For WBO heavyweight title
35 Win 30–4–1 United States Troy Weida TKO 1 (10), 0:28 Feb 23, 2002 United States Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
34 Win 29–4–1 United States Brian Scott KO 2 (10), 0:57 Oct 13, 2001 Denmark Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
33 Win 28–4–1 United States Don Steele KO 5 (10), 3:00 Mar 17, 2001 United States Silver Star Hotel & Casino, Choctaw, Mississippi, U.S.
32 Win 27–4–1 United States Jeff Pegues TKO 2 (10), 2:59 Feb 11, 2001 United States Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, Illinois, U.S.
31 Win 26–4–1 United States Jimmy Haynes KO 1 (10), 0:43 Dec 18, 1999 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.
30 Win 25–4–1 United States Leo Loiacono KO 2 (10), 0:46 Feb 21, 1998 United States Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, Miami, Florida, U.S.
29 Win 24–4–1 United States Tim Witherspoon UD 10 Dec 14, 1996 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
28 Loss 23–4–1 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis MD 10 May 10, 1996 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
27 Loss 23–3–1 United States Evander Holyfield UD 10 May 20, 1995 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
26 Draw 23–2–1 United States Marion Wilson SD 10 Jul 28, 1994 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
25 Win 23–2 United States Jesse Ferguson SD 10 Nov 19, 1993 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
24 Win 22–2 United States Mark Wills UD 10 Oct 6, 1993 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
23 Win 21–2 United States Tony Willis TKO 1 (10), 2:11 Aug 12, 1993 United States Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
22 Loss 20–2 United States Jesse Ferguson UD 10 Feb 6, 1993 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
21 Win 20–1 United States Jerry Halstead RTD 3 (12), 0:01 Dec 10, 1992 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
20 Win 19–1 United States Mike Dixon RTD 7 (10), 3:00 Oct 7, 1992 United States County Center, Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
19 Loss 18–1 United States Larry Holmes UD 12 Feb 7, 1992 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
18 Win 18–0 United States Tommy Morrison TKO 5 (12), 0:28 Oct 18, 1991 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained WBO heavyweight title
17 Win 17–0 Italy Francesco Damiani KO 9 (12), 2:47 Jan 11, 1991 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won WBO heavyweight title
16 Win 16–0 United States Bert Cooper UD 12 Aug 5, 1990 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won NABF heavyweight title
15 Win 15–0 United States Lionel Washington TKO 4 (10), 1:59 May 31, 1990 United States Community War Memorial, Rochester, New York, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Kimmuel Odum UD 12 Mar 2, 1990 United States Hacienda, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title
13 Win 13–0 United States Wesley Watson TKO 5 (10), 0:44 Jan 15, 1990 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Puerto Rico Ossie Ocasio SD 8 Dec 7, 1989 United States The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Jerry Jones UD 8 Nov 14, 1989 United States South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Eddie Richardson TKO 1 (8), 2:16 Oct 17, 1989 United States State Fairgrounds, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Arthel Lawhorne TKO 2 (10), 1:05 Sep 19, 1989 United States Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Dino Homsey TKO 1 (8), 1:58 Sep 5, 1989 United States Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Tracy Thomas KO 1 (6), 2:09 Aug 15, 1989 United States South Mountain Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Al Evans TKO 1 (6), 2:55 Jul 15, 1989 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Ken Crosby KO 1 (6), 2:45 Jun 12, 1989 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States David Hopkins KO 1 (4), 1:07 May 16, 1989 United States Tyndall Armory, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Garing Lane UD 4 Mar 28, 1989 United States Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Luis Walford KO 1 Mar 4, 1989 United States Civic Center, Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Jesse McGhee TKO 3 (4), 0:30 Feb 24, 1989 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.

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

Professional record

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

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


  1. ^ {{cite web and won the 1988 United States amateur heavyweight championship url = http://articles.latimes.com/1988-09-29/sports/sp-6088_1_ray-mercer title = Mercer Just May Be Sowing the Seeds for a High-Paying Career date = September 29, 1988 work=Los Angeles Times }}
  2. ^ "Freak Show or Convert? Kimbo Slice Interview". MMAWeekly. June 22, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Ray Mercer Returns to Fight Undefeated Ron Sparks". MMAFighting.com. March 12, 2010. 

External links

Sporting positions
Amateur boxing titles
Michael Bentt
U.S. heavyweight champion
Javier Alvarez
Regional boxing titles
Preceded by
Bert Cooper
NABF heavyweight champion
August 5, 1990 – January 1991
Title next held by
Orlin Norris
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Francesco Damiani
WBO heavyweight champion
January 11, 1991 – February 1992
Title next held by
Michael Moorer