“Merciless” Ray Mercer To Rumble In MMA Again, Will Face Ron Sparks This Friday In Connecticut

By James Slater - Ray Mercer, the former WBO heavyweight champion, made a big splash when he fought MMA star Tim Sylvia back in June of last year, flattening Sylvia inside ten-seconds with a huge right hand to the chin. Before that win, “Merciless” had lost to Kimbo Slice in an exhibition bout, and now, this coming Friday night in Connecticut, the 49-year-old will enter the cage again. This time set to face Ron Sparks, in a fight that was set to happen a few months back, Mercer will be looking to pick up his first win, of any kind - boxing or MMA - since parking Sylvia..

Sparks, known as “The Monster,” is unbeaten in MMA, with an impressive-looking 5-0(4) record. Not even close to being an expert on MMA, I can’t comment on the quality (or lack of quality) of the big, 6’5” 285-pounder’s opposition, but Mercer is confident of getting himself a win.

I called the always-friendly former Olympic gold medallist earlier today, and the 36-7-1(26) warrior told me about the fight taking place at Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

“I’m ready to go,” Ray told me. “I’m fighting Ron Sparks this Friday in Connecticut and I’m definitely gonna get the win. This fight was supposed to happen a few months back, but it got cancelled. I’m leaving tomorrow, and I can’t wait for this fight.”

Mercer also gave me his thoughts on the efforts of his friend James Toney, who suffered a loss in his own, well-publicised MMA debut against Randy “The Natural” Couture.

“Oh, James Toney, he’s one of the best boxers from America in the last twenty years, but it looked like he didn’t even train for that fight [with Couture],” Ray said, somewhat regretfully. “These MMA guys, you have to give them full respect, going into their sport and all. James Toney didn’t do that. It was kind of sad to see.”

I brought up Mercer’s quick win over Sylvia; why couldn’t Toney do something similar?

“He could have, but he just didn’t try,” Mercer insisted. “He never really did anything. I warned him about the takedowns these guys are so good at. You have to give these guys full respect - all sides of their game.”

Mercer has his game face on for the Sparks fight and he is sure to at the very least give a far better account of himself than the one “Lights Out” gave Vs. “The Natural.” Can Mercer score another quick KO? Or will Sparks - a fighter who had his MMA debut in 2006, went on to win three bouts in the 1st-round, then had an inactive spell of two-and-half-years before returning with A quick KO and then a points win last spring - prove to be too big and too strong for the former boxing champ?

Those fans wishing to find out, can see the bout live on HDNet.

Article posted on 12.09.2010

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