BOXING relies on the graphic and evocative. Images of glory and agony are etched into the history of a sport that promises brutal knockouts and savage exchanges. But boxing is also a sport where a touch of subtlety can provide the most interesting results.
Although the well-trained eye can sense even the smallest tactical and technical shifts, some pivotal moments in a fight can elude even the most educated observant. Sometimes, career-defining incidents are hidden in plain sight.
A case in point is Ray Mercer. He retired 10 years ago, with a record of 36-7-1 (26) decorated with some of the biggest names of a great heavyweight era. The former US Army infantryman even bludgeoned his way to 1988 Olympic heavyweight gold, stopping all four of his opponents on the way to the top of the podium in Seoul. Determined, tough, aggressive, and brave can all accurately describe the former WBO champion; certainly, he left little to the imagination. Or so one might presume.