Weekend scorecard: End of the road for Mercer?

At 44, Ray Mercer probably lost his last shot at major title contention when Shannon Briggs scored a seventh-round TKO Friday in Florida.

Originally Published: August 29, 2005
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


A roundup of the weekend's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at Marksville, La.
Cruiserweight
Reggie Johnson KO9 Fred Moore
Records: Johnson 43-7-1, 25 KOs; Moore 30-5
Rafael's remark: Johnson, a former light heavyweight and middleweight champ, hadn't fought since losing a decision in a light heavyweight title eliminator to Antonio Tarver in January 2002. But Johnson, 39, returned in style, landing an uppercut in the ninth to score a one-punch knockout in a fight he was losing. Johnson appears serious about his comeback. Why else would he fight such an experienced, solid opponent like Moore after such a long layoff?

Saturday at Chestermere Lake, Alberta
Cruiserweight
Dale Brown TKO5 Damon Reed
Records:Brown 34-4-1, 22 KOs; Reed 40-11
Rafael's remark: Brown should have been defending a world title for the first time, not fighting a journeyman opponent in obscurity. But Brown was robbed of the title when he met O'Neil Bell for a vacant belt in May. Nonetheless, Brown is giving it another go, starting with a stoppage of Reed, who usually has lost against quality opponents.

Friday at White Plains, N.Y.
Featherweight
Joan Guzman W12 Terdsak Jandaeng
Scores: 119-108 (twice), 117-110, title eliminator
Records: Guzman 24-0; Jandaeng 18-1
Rafael's remark: Guzman, a fierce puncher from the Dominican Republic, surrendered his junior featherweight title to move up in weight for this elimination bout. The victory earned him a shot at featherweight titlist Scott Harrison of Scotland in a bout that should produce fireworks. Jandaeng traveled from Thailand for the fight and didn't just show up for the payday. He gave his all in a tough fight but was outclassed by Guzman, who scored a knockdown in the fifth round. It's just a shame that an exciting, charismatic fighter like Guzman fought a meaningful match in utter obscurity and without the benefit of live television coverage.
Welterweight
Carlos Quintana KO1 Dillon Carew
Records: Quintana 21-0, 17 KOs; Carew 17-14-3
Rafael's remark: Quintana is one of the better prospects at 147 pounds and he keeps winning, this time disposing of Carew, a vastly more experienced opponent. It's time for Quintana to step up his level of opposition so we can see if this 28-year-old southpaw from Puerto Rico is for real.

Friday at Hollywood, Fla.
Heavyweight
Shannon Briggs KO7 Ray Mercer
Records: Briggs 43-4-1, 37 KOs; Mercer 34-6-1
Rafael's remark: Briggs and Mercer were both long past their heyday, but with such a lack of name heavyweights, the winner figured to emerge as a potential title challenger. Briggs, the former linear champion, should find himself back in the hunt for a significant fight after knocking out the normally durable Mercer. The fight didn't produce the sort of fireworks that the former roommates promised. Instead they posed and mixed it up only on occasion. Briggs finally ended it in the seventh with a couple of right hands that caught Mercer at an odd angle against the ropes and sent him down for the count. It was Mercer's first loss since a 2002 stoppage defeat against Wladimir Klitschko, and at 44, it appears to be the end of the road. For Briggs, at 33, it could be a new beginning.
Cruiserweight
O'Neil Bell KO11 Sebastian Rothmann
Retains a cruiserweight title
Records: Bell 25-1-1, 23 KOs; Rothmann 18-4-2
Rafael's remark: Bell was making the first defense of the vacant title he won on a highly questionable decision against Dale Brown in May, and it's only a matter of time until he loses it because of his china chin. He barely survived Rothmann, who was having his way most of the fight. He knocked Bell down in the fourth and also had the advantage of Bell losing two points (in the seventh and ninth rounds) for continual low blows. But Bell does have one attribute that can always rescue a fighter in distress: one-punch power. He needed a knockout against Rothmann and got it in shocking fashion, coming up with a huge right hand in the 11th round. The shot to Rothmann's head dropped him to the mat face-first. Rothmann was out cold before he hit the deck and stayed down for several minutes before regaining his senses.
Heavyweight
Jameel McCline KO3 Steve Pannell
Records: McCline 32-5-3, 20 KOs; Pannell 34-9
Rafael's remark: This was just what the doctor ordered for McCline -- an impressive, dominant knockout to get back in the groove. McCline, who regularly has faced strong opposition over the past several years, was coming off back-to-back, close decision losses to titlist Chris Byrd in November and emerging contender Calvin Brock in April. So McCline, who dealt Shannon Briggs his last defeat in 2002 via a dominant decision, took a step back to regain some confidence. He knocked Pannell down three times -- once in each round -- in a quick night's work.
Junior welterweight
Juan Urango TKO7 Andre Eason
Records: Urango 16-0-1, 13 KOs; Eason 15-4
Rafael's remark: Urango, a southpaw, burst on the scene with an all-action draw against Mike Arnaoutis on Showtime's "ShoBox" series last August. A year later, Urango remains one of the most exciting up-and-comers in the business. He comes forward, throws a lot of punches and has power. Although he dropped Eason three times in the fight, Urango was in some trouble in the seventh before he scored the final knockdown.
Heavyweight
Lance Whitaker KO3 Louis Monaco
Records:Whitaker 30-3-1, 25 KOs; Monaco 14-31-4
Rafael's remark: In Whitaker's previous fight in May, Luan Krasniqi starched him with one shot to earn a shot at titlist Lamon Brewster. So Whitaker was picking up the pieces from the worst loss of his career against one of the worst opponents a matchmaker could find. Louis Monaco -- 3-11-1 since 2000 -- is the epitome of a professional loser. There is a reason this putrid match was not part of the pay-per-view broadcast. Regardless, Whitaker did what he was supposed to, which is dominate a horrible opponent until the carnage was stopped.

Friday at Houston
Lightweight
Fernando Trejo TKO10 Jose Armando Santa Cruz
Records: Trejo 25-10-4; Santa Cruz 20-1
Rafael's remark: Trejo was being soundly beaten for the first six rounds or so until rising prospect Santa Cruz ran out of gas in the sweltering heat. Exhausted, he took a thorough beating over the final few rounds before the referee finally saved him. Top Rank had high hopes for Santa Cruz. Hopefully, he can rebound from a really tough loss.
Super middleweight
Kelly Pavlik KO2 Vincent Harris
Records: Pavlik 26-0, 23 KOs; Harris 12-17-2
Rafael's remark: Pavlik, a huge puncher on the verge of making some noise, stayed busy with this blowout win. He had been scheduled to fight on the Christy Martin-Lucia Rijker undercard, but when that fight was canceled last month, Top Rank scrambled to get him a fight just so he didn't waste his training and so he could earn a paycheck.
Junior middleweight
Vanes Martirosyan W4 Fernando Vela
Scores: 40-35, 39-37, 39-36
Records: Martirosyan 3-0; Vela 2-2-1
Rafael's remark: The 2004 U.S. Olympian continued his transition to the pro game with a lopsided decision. He's only 19 and has a bright future. He has an impressive group of handlers  manager Shelly Finkel, trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Top Rank. They don't work with young fighters unless they believe he has a serious future.

Friday at Norman, Okla.
Welterweight
Oscar Diaz W10 Thomas Davis
Scores: 97-92 (twice), 96-93
Records: Diaz 22-1; Davis 9-3-1
Rafael's remark: When Diaz turned pro in 2001, he looked like he had potential to be a champion. Although he remains a crowd-pleasing fighter and has top trainers Tommy Brooks and Lou Duva in his corner, Diaz just isn't getting better. He continues to make fights harder than they should be. There's no reason why the fight with Davis should have been as tough as it was.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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