Ray Mercer, the former WBO world heavyweight champion turned MMA fighter is believed to have gone A.W.O.L* just days before a scheduled fight for the King Of The Cage promotion.
(*Mercer has now been found safe and well. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for latest update)
Mercer was expected to face Ron Sparks at the ‘No Mercy’ event on September 17th, but a King Of The Cage representative has told USCombatSports that the 1998 Olympic boxing gold medalist has not been seen since last Tuesday.
The 47 year-old’s son was the last person to see him leaving his home in North Carolina in order to complete his training camp prior to the bout.
“At this point we a more concerned for [Ray Mercer’s] safety than for his participation in the September 17th event,” KOTC rep Keith Creed says. “If we found him in a Holiday Inn with a line of cocaine and two hookers at least we’d know he had a good time.”
Mercer gained notoriety in mixed martial arts when he knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in just 9 seconds in what was billed as an MMA Vs Boxing match in 2009.
He also fought bareknuckle streetfighter turned MMA star Kimbo Slice in 2007, being defeated by a gullotine choke a little over a minute into the fight.
Showing a willingness to compete in all aspects of combat sports Mercer also fought twice in kickboxing bouts in 2004 and 2005, losing on both occasions. Boxing was still his stock and trade though, and to date he has compiled a record of 36-7-1, with 26 of his wins coming by way of knockout during his pro career in the sweet science.
King Of The Cage have now released a new statement stating that Mercer has re-emerged safe and well and is back in training for the fight. There’s still no word on why he was unreachable over the past week.