It depends on which Ray Mercer shows up. If it's the unrelenting Mercer that fought Bert Cooper and Lennox Lewis, then he may well stop Rocky. But if its the Mercer that fought Larry Holmes, then Rocky pounds him into submission.
On paper Ray should win. He's bigger, stronger, great jab and he had a solid chin. But this is Rocky Marciano here. He's full of surprises, always finds a way to win, and proved himself to be a clutch fighter in emergency situations. I lean towards Mercer but if Rocky wins it shouldn't be an upset.
Dangerous matchup for both. But I favor Rocky because he was everything Ray Mercer wanted to be. Ray had the better jab but I can't see him surviving 15 rounds with Rocky. Ray had a great chin so it would end by TKO.
One thing's for sure. Rocky would show up to fight. He'd fight to win. And he wouldn't stop punching. Even in his best performance against Lewis, Mercer slowed often. In fact, he eased up a lot in the last two rounds and basically gave Lewis the win. If he'd fought more aggressive in those last rounds he would have won. It was those last two rounds that sealed the victory for Lewis in a real close fight.
Against Rocky, Mercer couldn't afford to have a single lazy round because Rocky would constantly be pressing and throwing. I don't think Mercer could keep up, but Rocky's chin was never tested by a prime 200+ pound banger like Mercer. There's a possibility he'd end up like Morrison...
That's true. Rocky was durable and a clutch fighter in emergency situations. This fact, coupled with Ray's laziness, could enable Rocky to get a decision. (I don't see him stopping Mercer)
But again, Ray was a much bigger heavyweight than Rocky. This would be basically a cruiserweight going nose to nose against a real heavyweight with a hard punch and chin of stone. Rocky's chin was never put to this kind of test.
If Ray was 185 pounds then Rocky wins without doubt. But the size difference here may be too much, despite how tough Rocky was or how hard he hit.
For these fantasy fights, we usually talk about the best version of each. I think Mercer wins because he's a damn strong and relentless fighter with a great chin, and can put Rocky to sleep quite easily. Pound for pound, Rocky is better, but Ray has too many assets. The Ray that went against Lewis would have put 186lbs pound Rocky on the canvas many times. However, the one thing that nobody mentioned is that Rocky would have been an awkward fighter for Ray (and almost anybody) because Rocky's attack would mostly come from below. How many fighters are trained and experienced for that?
Even in his best performance against Lewis, Mercer slowed often.
That tells the story right there. Rocky damn sure wouldn't slow. When Ray inevitably takes an "off" round for a breather, Rocky would still be throwing punches non-stop. And eventually all Ray would be able to do is fight defensively and that's not really his thing.
It'd be a repeat of the Archie Moore fight, but even Archie was a skilled defensive counterpuncher and still got abolished by Rocky's sledgehammers.