Forced into a slugfest he didn’t want, two-time former champion Evander Holyfield took a dramatic first step back in the heavyweight division Saturday night with a unanimous 10-round decision over Ray Mercer.
Holyfield survived a bad cut alongside his right eye to outpoint the game Mercer, who had called this a turning-point fight in his career.
Judge Eugene Grant had it 96-93, while Eva Shain saw it 97-92 and Jean Williams had it 95-94.
It was the first fight in 13 months for Holyfield, who was diagnosed with a heart condition - a diagnosis later challenged - after losing the WBA and IBF titles to Michael Moorer on April 22, 1994.
In an undercard bout, flamboyant Hector Camacho retained his lightly regarded IBC welterweight championship with a unanimous 12-round decision over Homer Gibbons.