Ray Mercer Sets the Record Straight
Exclusive Interview with Ray Mercer
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr. (Aug 16, 2004) 
'Merciless' Ray Mercer
Former WBO heavyweight champion 'Merciless' Ray Mercer has had his share of battles in the ring. After a 15-year career that produced a record of 33-5 (25), he decided to hang up the gloves and call it a day. On May 26th 2004 Mercer sent his retirement letter to the Florida Athletic Commission, stating that his decision was for his family. But when the recently retired boxer decided to compete in K-1, all hell seemed to break lose for the ex-champ. Prior to his retirement Ray was supposed to face DaVarryl Williamson on ESPN2 for Williamson’s NABF heavyweight title. So after his retirement his promoter Warriors Promotions decided to take action against the ex-fighter. They filed a complaint to the State court system stating that Ray Mercer broke their contract due to his involvement in K-1. Their decision to battle Ray Mercer in court prompted many websites including Sun-Sentinel to state that Mercer was found contempt in court for dropping his fight with Williamson to enter K-1 and for not appearing in court in a scheduled hearing. The only problem with all this is that none of the statements was accurate, and in fact it can be said that they were false accusations. Mercer’s lawyer Rick Diaz told Doghouse that Ray appeared at the first hearing but wasn’t required to appear on the next hearing. So that throws out the contempt of court for failure to appear. Also, Warriors filed in the wrong jurisdiction. First would be going to Federal then to State court if so needed. Warriors decided to surpass Federal and go directly to State. Warriors state that they lost money due to Mercer and his decision to break their contract to compete in K-1. It was two weeks after Ray’s retirement that he received a phone call and was invited to compete in K-1. So the theory that Ray quit boxing to compete in K-1 is also put to rest. Diaz also stated that if Ray Mercer wanted to retire than he has more than the right to do so. So why would a guy retire just before a scheduled televised title fight? Ray stated to Doghouse that he wasn’t informed about the bout being on ESPN2 until after the fight was set to go and the papers were signed. His purse wasn’t set for a televised fight and Warriors never informed Mercer of the fight being televised. Mercer learned this from an outside source. Warriors also were paying Ray Mercer $11,500 for his bout which is $6,000 under the normal asking price. So there must be more to his retirement than just doing it for his family, right? This is where Doghouse and Ray Mercer comes in and sets the record straight. In this exclusive interview Doghouse conducted with Ray Mercer, he explains the reasons behind his retirement, the reason for accepting an offer to compete in K-1, and his thoughts on Warriors Promotions.

Benny Henderson Jr.: What was your contract with Warriors Promotions?

Ray Mercer: I had a 3-year contract with Warriors and with my two fights I had under them I was paid 10K. How can a man survive on that much when he wasn’t staying active in the ring?

BH: What do you mean, that you couldn’t make it on 10K a fight?

RM: Ok, check this out. You get 10K per fight when the normal price is 17K, also you are only getting two fights that year, let’s do the math. I made $20,000 gross minus trainer’s fees of $2,000, agent fees $1,500 and cutman fees for $500. I made just under $16,000 for myself. Then to top that off I have to pay taxes on that $16,000.

BH: Why do you think Warriors did not want to pay you the normal $17,500 per fight?

RM: Well, I really don’t know why they tried to short-change me on my purse. One thing that I do know for sure is that when I retired the purse shot up from $11,500 to $17,500 over night, and that is where the offer should have started.

BH: Well Ray, is Warriors the real reason you retired?

RM: Well, I would not say that they are the real reason behind my retirement. However, by them starving me financially I really had no choice but to retire and seek employment elsewhere. Do you realize that I would have made more money pumping gas at the local gas station per year than I did fighting last year? That is just crazy.

BH: So did you retire from boxing so you could compete in K-1?

No Benny, I did not retire from boxing to go and fight in K-1. I was two-weeks into my retirement when I got a call from my friend Vinny asking me if I wanted to compete in a super fight for K-1. Then I called my now ex-advisor Robert Middlemen, he informed me that he asked Vinny to get me into a K-1 fight since I was retired from boxing. So I accepted the offer at Robert Middleman’s advice, I was told by him that I don’t need to worry because he would deal with Chris and Jessie [Warriors Big Shots].

BH: What are your thoughts on Warriors Promotions?

RM: What are my thoughts on Warriors Promotions? I would be better off by saying NO COMMENT, however I think the world needs to know the truth. Warrior’s promotions in my opinion are the type of company that will lure you into a web with hollow promises, deceptions and lies. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never done a deal with Warriors. Warrior’s claims to have a family love for their fighters. If that were so wouldn’t you think that Warriors wouldn’t have a problem with me (whom is in retirement I might add) being able to take care of my family? It doesn’t matter how, whether I was bagging groceries, working on cars or fighting in K-1. I was retired from the sport of boxing. Therefore I had no more dealings with Warriors anymore. They had no control over me anymore. Where they happy that I was now going to be able to take care of my family? NO! Warriors instead went to civil court and filed an injunction against me so that I could not fight and not be able to support my wife and nine children. Would they do the same if I decided to work in a factory? Should they have control over a fighter’s career after he decided to retire? No, it is my right to call a halt to my 15-year career when I was ready too. And it is my right to take care of my family in any form or fashion that I chose. In the junction Warrior’s frivolously named two defendants Vincent LaManna and Herman Caicedo that had nothing to do with my decision to fight in K-1. Maybe they should have named Robert Middlemen; he was the one who asked Vinny to work on getting me a fight in K-1 while I was in retirement. Ray Mercer's decision was made solely on my wife and kids. If I don’t have the money to keep the lights on in my home or have food in my refrigerator then we are not going to be able to survive. K-1 gave me the opportunity to support my family and survive so I took it. If the roles were reversed they would have taken too. In my opinion, Warriors would rather see their fighters broke and homeless, then to see their fighters retire with money to take care of their family with. Prior to the K-1 fight I was barely able to put food on my table. I was in real bad financial shape. So who could blame me for doing what I did after retirement to go to K-1 and support my family?

BH: Well Ray, I agree with you in supporting your family and doing what you have to do to secure their stability in the home. I see nothing wrong with deciding to fight in any kind of sport after retiring from boxing. Hell, if I was Warriors you could have played football as far as I cared, you were no longer signed with me so what’s it to me? You did nothing wrong with returning to any kind of ring after retirement.

RM: That’s right, I did nothing wrong in competing in the K-1 super fight. K-1 is not boxing or kickboxing. K-1 is a form of Japanese fighting. The rules are different from boxing. It is simple, don’t use your head as a weapon. You can kick, punch, elbow, knee. You can pull your opponents head down and strike sweep the legs of your opponent. Does that sound like boxing or kickboxing? K-1 is run with honor and trust; the boxing world should try to adhere to the K-1 standards. I am proud to say that I fought in a K-1 Super Fight, and I can’t wait to do it again.

BH: Well Ray, I thank you for your time and for choosing Doghouse to tell your side of the story. Is there anything you would like to add?

I would like to thank my attorney Rick Diaz; Rick is a Miami Florida based attorney whom I feel is one of the best in the business. Rick can be reached at 1-305-444-7181. Thank you Rick. And I would like to thank the fans for supporting me and I would like to thank Doghouse Boxing.

Writers Note: I would like to say that Doghouse and I are fair to anybody and everybody who wants to respond to any comments made to or about them. We realize that there are always two sides to every story. So in saying this, after attempts made by me to reach Jessie Robinson at Warrior Promotions for their comments on this matter, he declined to comment. Ray will be back in court in early September. I will keep the fans informed on this matter. For more information on Ray Mercer he would like to invite you to visit his website: Merciless Ray Mercer - Official Website.
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