By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
Legendary hall of fame referee Arthur Mercante passed away at his home in Westbury, New York on Saturday morning April 10, 2010 at the age of 90 years. Mercante was one of the nicest men in this sport that I have had the pleasure of meeting and was a true gentleman.
He was a referee during six decades which spanned from 1954 to 2001, and had officiated 145 world championship bouts, with his most famous being “The Fight of the Century” March 8, 1971, Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali. Other notable fights that he worked were: Ingemar Johansson vs. Floyd Patterson #2, at the Polo Grounds, New York, June 1960; Joe Frazier vs. George Foreman, in Kingston, Jamaica, January 1973; and Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton #3, at Yankee Stadium, New York, September 1976.
The boxing world has lost a true icon. Please join me in prayer; may his soul rest peacefully in heaven!