This Day in Atlantic City Boxing History – Ray Mercer vs. Larry Holmes

Written by Rob Scott

When Future Inductees Intersect

Atlantic City — February 7, 1992 — On this day, Bob Arum’s, Top Rank, Inc., brought to Atlantic City’s Convention Center, “The Last Stand: Power vs. Pride” – Ray Mercer vs. Larry Holmes.

Up Against the Odds

A capacity crowd filled the arena on this evening to witness Larry Holmes, a former heavyweight champion of the world who held on to that title for an impressive 7 1/2 years, attempt to beat the odds by beating the undefeated, hard-hitting and twelve years younger 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, “Merciless” Ray Mercer.

Mercer vs. Holmes

Mercer, a former WBO Heavyweight Champion, was coming off of a crushing 5th round KO victory over Tommy Morrison in the very same AC ring just over 3 1/2 months earlier.

The 42-year-old, Holmes, was riding off of a five victory win streak, but last stepped into the ring against top opposition about four years earlier, a 4th round KO loss to then Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson.

Swinging Towards the Unexpected

Not needing to teach the old dog new tricks, Holmes, in fact, became the teacher on this night, outsmarting Mercer who was installed as a 4-1 favorite to send Holmes into permanent retirement.

After getting rocked in the first round, Holmes regained his faculties and began to land more frequently, and at times, played with his younger opponent. He talked to Mercer and the crowd, particularly in the 6th when he shouted: “I’m not Tommy Morrison.”

In the first moments of the 7th round, a frustrated Mercer landed an elbow to the head of Holmes, but the veteran kept his composure and fought back, landing 40 punches to Mercer’s 17 in that round.

Looking more tired than his older opponent, Mercer still was dangerous though, landing periodic shots, but not enough to outwork and outpoint the old warhorse

The Final Bell

When the final bell rang and the scores were read, Holmes was declared the winner by unanimous decision with scores of 117–112, 117–111 and 115–113. Contrary to when he entered the ring, Holmes received roaring cheers as the Atlantic City crowd and those watching on pay-per-view appreciated the effort put in on this night by the man known as the “Easton Assasin.”

Larry Holmes was voted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall Of Fame in its inaugural class in 2017 along with referee, Steve Smoger, and NJ State Athletic Control Board Commissioner, Larry Hazzard. This year’s class will see, promoter, Bob Arum and Ray Mercer enter the ACBHOF’s 2018 class.

Catch a Glimpse of History

All these men have made boxing history; On this night in 1992 – All had made Atlantic City Boxing History.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have, you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

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