Boxing


Exclusive Interview - "Merciless" Ray Mercer Talks About Mormeck, Morrison And MMA

by James Slater - According to a news bit on FightNews.com, the word is former cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck, now campaigning as a heavyweight, will fight former WBO king Ray Mercer in late April. Upon seeing this news, I called up the always friendly and accommodating former Olympian, and below is the following interview 48-year-old "Merciless" was kind enough to give me earlier today.

Here are the teak-tough warrior's answers to my questions:@

James Slater: Thanks again for your time, Champ - it's always a pleasure to speak with you. We hear you may be fighting former cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck next, in April. Can you confirm this?

Ray Mercer: How you doin' my man? No, I can't confirm it, but I know my manager has been working on that fight, trying to get it done for a while. So I'm hoping; it would be great!

J.S: The fight would probably be in France, as he's from there and he fought there last time - in his heavyweight debut. You'd go there to fight him?

R.M: I'll go anywhere to fight! I'll box anywhere in the world (laughs). Yeah, I'd love to go to France, of course.

J.S: How much do you know about Mormeck?

R.M: I actually don't know all that much about him. I know he was a good cruiserweight, a world champion. So I know he'll also be a lighter guy, who probably throws a lot of punches. What has he does as a heavyweight?

J.S: He has had one win, over tough guy Vinny Maddalone. You know him?

R.M: Ooh, yeah, I know Vinny. A couple of times we were supposed to fight, but it never came off. I always thought I'd knock him out.

J.S: Vinny lost on points over 8-rounds, but he had Mormeck tired in the later rounds and it was quite close.

R.M: I'm pumped for this fight! I haven't had a big fight for quite a while, and I'd be ready for this one. Vinny's a tough guy, and he did okay against him. How old is he? [Mormeck] I know he's younger than me.

J.S: Yeah, he's 37.

R.M: Oh, that's not too much younger than me. I've knocked guys out who were 37 (laughs).

J.S: When we last talked, you told me you'd had no luck getting any MMA fighters to face you after what you did to Tim Sylvia in nine-seconds! Is that still the same story?

R.M: Actually, some guys from MMA called me and asked me to attend a show, on the 10th of next month, and I'll see what they offer me then. But other than the nine-second KO, no, nothing has come up. Guys don't want to take the risk, you know?

J.S: Have you been training though? You've been in the gym?

R.M: Definitely. Nothing hard, no sparring - but I've been keeping in shape, of course. I love going to the gym. I'm a grandfather now, my daughter's child was five months old yesterday, and I've actually been babysitting during the day. And after that, I head to the gym.

J.S: With the Mormeck fight, if it happens - and we hope it does - probably taking place in France, will you got for the KO? I know you always have done in your fights! If it's close on the cards, he'll have a good chance of getting the win in France.

R.M: You know me, I always go for the KO. I never try to go the distance. And the last thing to go for a fighter is his power. I definitely still have it, and I'm a smarter fighter now, with more experience. I definitely feel I'll use my experience and trick him [Mormeck] and have him landing on his chin!

J.S: Supposing you do get the win - and, as big as Mormeck is in Europe, France especially, it would be a pretty big win for you - would you stick around in boxing, looking for another big fight?

R.M: Of course. Every fight now, I look at as a chance to get to the next level. And he [Mormeck] can take me there.

J.S: Has Mormeck made a mistake in taking this fight with you - if he does actually take it? Or is he just looking at your name value, seeing you as a good win for him as he tries to make it as a heavyweight?

R.M: A lot of people do want to fight me, because I have things to offer. I was an Olympic gold medallist and a WBO champion - and a win over me would look good on his resume. But as I say, I'm an older, smarter guy now.

J.S: Do you have any timeframe in mind, for when you will actually retire? At 48 you are still in good shape physically and you speak with a clear voice - there is nothing wrong with your faculties at all. When get to age 50, will that be a time to say, "hey, that's it."

R.M: You know, 50 could be it. But right now, I don't want to quit. I want to keep going. France is a place I've never been to (laughs) and there are still a lot of good things out there for me. I also still love boxing, I really do.

J.S: It's always interesting to speak with you, Ray. Most of the guys who were around when your were are long one now - did you hear about Oliver McCall?

R.M: Yes I did. That was real bad news. They actually called me two days after Oliver was arrested, and they offered me the fight [with original McCall foe, Zuri Lawrence]. But that was no way near enough notice - I need at least two or three weeks of sparring. I know he [Lawrence] hits like tissue paper, but I wasn't gonna go into a fight out of shape and risk losing a decision - not just because Oliver McCall got arrested!

J.S: No way you'd fall for that one, eh, Ray! Maybe these guys don't know how sharp you still are?

R.M: Exactly!

J.S: Someone else brought up your name recently, Ray - a guy I'm sure you remember: Tommy Morrison
!

R.M: Who! (laughs)

J.S: Yes, up on You-Tube, Morrison said he was gonna fight again, against Riddick Bowe! - and that he'd like a rematch with you after that?

R.M: Wow! Hasn't he got AIDS?

J.S: Tommy says he had a false positive way back when. He has actually fought and won twice - in 2007 and in 2008.

R.M: Oh, it's bullshit. Come on, man. No way would I fight him. Well, it would have to be for a ton of money! But then again, money and AIDS don't mix! We'd have to do the blood tests, 'cos there'd be a lot of blood in that fight, believe me! Maybe this time I'd try and knock him out with one punch (laughs). You never know, business is business.

J.S: Yeah, and Tommy has a charity project going, where he wants to have a farm or something, to take unfortunate kids to. He says he definitely wants to fight again. But anyway, we're talking about the Mormeck fight, and that's a real possibility. I hope the fight comes off for you, Champ - and I call you Champ because you were, twice - Olympic and WBO!

R.M: Well, I'm pumped for the fight now, too! Call me back when it's a definite and we'll talk again.

J.S: Absolutely, and if you win; that may well lead to something big.

R.M: I hope so. I'm always looking for a big fight, a big opportunity. Thank you my man.

Article posted on 26.02.2010



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