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Is Ray Mercer Merciless, Merciful, Mercerized or What?

BY Rick Folstad ON October 22, 2006
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“Merciless” Ray Mercer is back, which is like saying big hair is back or polyester is back or platform shoes are back.

They all had their fun days, but that doesn’t mean you want to see them on the dance floor again.

You remember Ray Mercer. He had one of those left hooks that could stop a truck or dent a water tower. It was merciless.

He hasn’t fought in over a year, but that doesn’t mean he’s retired.

Hey, he’s only 45.

He’s supposed to fight again on Nov. 30 in Charleston, S.C., but the last I heard, they still weren’t sure who he’d be facing.

I have an idea. How about Evander Holyfield after he‘s done with Fres Oquendo on Nov. 10? Win or lose that fight, a bout with Mercer is a natural. Mercer is 45 and Holyfield just turned 44 this month.

It could be like golf. We could form a senior circuit, develop a new league for old pugs 35 and over who just can’t quite kick the habit, who are addicted to the gym and the smell of sweat, wet leather and moldy showers.

It’d be perfect for those fighters who can‘t slip a right hand anymore, but can still tell you how to do it.

We could call it Boxing for Seniors, or BS for short.

Roberto Duran would be a good member of BS. Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Marvin Hagler.

Quick. Someone call Tim Witherspoon. Anyone seen Buster Douglas?

We could tweak the rules a little. Seniors fight six or eight rounds instead of 10 or 12. Use 14-ounce gloves across the board.

Each fighter would get two timeouts during the actual fight. That’s in case one of the old-timers got stunned by a right hand midway through a round. All he would have to do is raise his glove over his head and he gets an automatic 30-second breather with no points deducted.

Heart attack prevention.

Headgear would be optional, and oxygen and IV’s would be available in the corners between rounds for both fighters AND trainers.

If the fight ends up a draw, they flip a coin to name a winner.

No ties in this league.

Special consideration, such as bias scoring and preferential refereeing, would be given to those fighters carrying an up-to-date AARP card.

Mercer, who was last seen getting stopped in the seventh round by Shannon Briggs in August 2005, has good intentions concerning his comeback. According to a press release, his proposed fight will be promoted by former heavyweight champ James “Bonecrusher” Smith and would honor the soldiers in Iraq and all veterans.

The fight promotions would be named after Smith’s non-profit organization called “Champions for Kids.”

According to Smith, “Champions for Kids” is a national mentoring program for inner-city children. It’s geared toward keeping kids in school.

“For this new promotional project, we want to get current and former champions involved, whether it be getting in the ring themselves and fighting, or just sitting ringside to offer support,“ Smith said. “We’ve got Mark Breland and many others coming to help us.”

Here’s where Smith shows he knows what he’s talking about.

“These are guys who are over 35 who still want to box,” he said. “Guys who are over 35 should be fighting each other, not these young kids who are climbing the ranks.”

No ring wear showing on Bonecrusher.

Smith said they’ve been talking to Riddick Bowe about getting him on one of their promotions in February in the Bahamas, along with Mercer.

“Then, maybe down the road, we can get Riddick and Ray to fight each other,” he said.

The good old days.

But I never liked those Nehru jackets.

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