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Old 01-06-2018, 02:18 PM #1
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Default Why did "Merciless" Ray Mercer vacate the WBO title?

Ray Mercer is one of my favourite Heavyweights of recent history and I feel he is some what unheralded. However, when he captured the WBO Heavyweight title, he made one defence before vacating and taking on a 42 year old Larry Holmes.

I understand he went for a perceived money fight, but why throw away the title? What were the specifics? Why not fight his mandatory, Michael Moorer, then take the Holmes fight?
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:49 PM #2
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I don't really remember the particulars of him dropping that title, I'm sure someone else will though, but what I do know is at that time the WBO was a 2nd rate title & not on par with the 3 main belts (WBA, WBC & IBF). It was just above the USBA or NABF titles in most US fans opinions & under the 3 main belts so him dropping that belt wasn't nearly as big of a deal as one dropping a WBO belt would be today.

And I do tend to agree he's an underrated guy, but I think he kinda did it to himself with his lack of motivation for several of his fights & almost always coming up short in big fights. After that Tommy Morrison KO I expected big things from him, but I think one could say that W was the highlight of his career & it was downhill from there even if he got some big fights later on.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:58 PM #3
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That era seemed to breed guys who were really good but could not get it all together into the full montey. Another one, arguably destroyed by King in this case, was Tim Witherspoon. On a good day this guy could fight with the best...Oliver Mccall, though a wee bit later, was also part of that group in my opinion. I would take either man, and probably Mercer on a good day as well, to be a hard fight for any heavyweight that ever plied his trade!

If you want an answer to your question Willy, look at whom was managing Mercer. Was it King? and look at whom was managing Moore. This would tell you a lot I suspect about why Mercer may have skipped this fight.

One other possibility: Moore had a real reputation as fighters fighter! He may have been ducked. though I doubt it
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:32 PM #4
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The OP is right--someone on here will know eventually.

As to why Mercer never went on to capture the whole Marianne--it was a lackadaisical streak--as to why he had that we might have to ask his mother, but more likely the answer could lie somewhere in the logjam of boxing politics of the era. It may be that King's shenanigans had a way of disheartening and embittering his charges to the point that they hated to win for him anymore, setting themselves up with a dangerous contradiction where they sometimes toyed with their own defeat before winning.

An even more likely cause for his eventual unsuccess was a natural lackadaisical streak. You find that in certain fighters. Mike Weaver comes to mind. You can easily see what they have to do to win the encounter--up their activity and go after their man. But something prevents them. In front of your television set, you cannot figure out what it is that prevents them, because you are not empathic enough. They do not have the dominant vantage point of an all time master like Mayweather, Leonard or Ali when it comes to awareness and alertness in the ring. The masters take ring generalship way beyond tactics and footwork. These guys (the ATGs) seemed to even know what judges were thinking, because they were controlling that, too, as they went along.

None of that for Weaver or Mercer. They did not have that kind of vision. They did not seem to ever know how things likely stood with the judges when you yourself could see they were obviously behind in a fight yet still dragging their feet for no reason you could discern.

They didn't have those higher gifts of vision and mind control to complement their physical attributes, is, I believe, the scientific reason they were failures. If they could have even realized as much as we realized from our dominant, outside angle, they would have modified their ring behavior to take advantage of it. But they could not see the forest clearly for the trees. Only a precious few have the higher gift of dominant vision that sees not only everything happening in the ring but also seems to know and even control the very thoughts and feelings of millions watching, including the judges. Besides the gifted ones, there are those with average and also those with mediocre super vision. Mercer would definitely be in the group with mediocre (next to none) super vision in my opinion.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:32 AM #5
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Money. Mercer made more money fighting the old underdog in Holmes than he would for fighting Moorer.
Mercer who was like a 4-1 favorite, hoped to fight Holyfield after Holmes but Holmes scored the upset and about four months later got a title shot against Holyfield.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:39 AM #6
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Yeah and the WBO wasn't a major title until about the mid 2000s. 4 belts is too much to be undisputed, especially with all the crappy mandatories they throw at belt holders. 2 seemed right, even maybe 3, but more than that is kind of ridiculous, which is probably why lineal is more important these days.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:48 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony342 View Post
Yeah and the WBO wasn't a major title until about the mid 2000s. 4 belts is too much to be undisputed, especially with all the crappy mandatories they throw at belt holders. 2 seemed right, even maybe 3, but more than that is kind of ridiculous, which is probably why lineal is more important these days.
Yeah, at that time the WBO was very young. Mercer and Morrison were some of their first heavyweight champions
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:47 PM #8
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Whenever a new sanctioning body comes out (like say the IBO) I'm always vocal in encouraging people to ignore their belt.

That way it hopefully doesn't gain any traction and become accepted as legit.

I wish this had been done with the WBO when it first debuted. We need less world champions in boxing not more.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:03 PM #9
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Exactly. These days, it's pretty much about lineal and Ring for the hardcore fans. I heard about TBRB recently, I wouldn't mind those rankings gaining more traction and eventually becoming THE belt to win, from what I've read anyway. They any good?
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:03 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoulderRoll View Post
Whenever a new sanctioning body comes out (like say the IBO) I'm always vocal in encouraging people to ignore their belt.

That way it hopefully doesn't gain any traction and become accepted as legit.

I wish this had been done with the WBO when it first debuted. We need less world champions in boxing not more.
I think guys like Hamed and Barrera made it a household name.
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