NEW YORK - Ray Mercer, a former WBO heavyweight boxing champ and gold medalist in the 1988 Olympics, will take on no-knuckle boxing and Internet legend Kimbo Slice in a three-round exhibition bout utilizing professional MMA rules at the Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5 show, said matchmaker Gary Marino today. Dubbed “Brawl at the Hall”, CFFC 5 will take place on June
23rd at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey .
“I’m very, very excited,” said Marino. “I’ve been working on trying to get Kimbo a fight for the last year. He’s a great draw, and he’s got a huge following for his fights.” Marino added: “Ray Mercer was at the Cage Fury Fighting Championship 3 show and speculated that he’d like to try [MMA], and he called me a couple weeks ago asking me to get him a fight. It’s perfect for both guys, for their style and who they are. Kimbo’s a big banger and so is Mercer.”
Known for their heavy-hands and raw power, this will be the first time either man has fought under full MMA rules though Slice purportedly has been training in the sport for some time now at Miami ’s Freestyle Fighting Academy . However, the former boxing champ, who lost his WBO belt to Wladimir Klitschko in 2002 before stepping into the ring for Japan’s K-1 promotion in 2004 and 2005, will likely enter the cage ready to defend the takedown should the need arise.
Said Marino: “Ray Mercer told me he has a bit of a wrestling background, and he’s aware Kimbo has been training down in Florida . He’s been talking about MMA for a while now… so he’ll be prepared.”
With this bout, Mercer will become the highest-profile boxer to have taken the MMA plunge. “It’s very, very intriguing. I think it’s a fantastic fight,” said Marino. “Ray Mercer is definitely going to be the hardest hitter Kimbo has ever faced… I think if they both stand in front of each other, someone is definitely going to get knocked out.”
Update May 6 730pm: The date for the fight is June 23rd, not the 16th as previously reported. We’ve updated the title and release. - DS
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