The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today 1988 Olympic gold medalist and former WBO heavyweight champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer will return to Canastota to participate in events planned for the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend June 11-14th..
“From the Olympic gold medal to the heavyweight championship of the world, Ray Mercer was a fan favorite,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming him back to Canastota.”
Mercer compiled an 85-6 amateur record and captured the 1988 Olympic heavyweight gold medal. He turned pro in 1989 and won the NABF heavyweight title from Bert Cooper (W 12) in 1990 before stopping Francesco Damiani in 1991 (KO 9) for the WBO title. In his first defense he scored a dramatic 5th round TKO over Tommy “The Duke” Morrison. Stripped of the title in 1992, he went on to score wins over Tim Witherspoon and Darroll Wilson among others. Mercer’s pro record stands at 36-7-1 (26 KOs).
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2015. Living inductees include heavyweight champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed, lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken, manager Rafael Mendoza, referee Steve Smoger, journalist Nigel Collins and broadcaster Jim Lampley. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer and Non-Participant categories will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing greats from the United States and abroad, including “The Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta, “Irish” Micky Ward, Nino Benvenuti and William Joppy, are scheduled to participate in the weekend.
For more information on the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.