Does anyone remember Jeff Merritt?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Il Duce, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Il Duce

    Il Duce Boxing Addict Full Member

    6,972
    21
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 18, 2010
    Bobby J,

    After the flight back to Cleveland, King sent Jeff back home to Kansas City.
    Jeff left his car (1973 Buick Riviera) in Cleveland with King.

    As for the $15,000 fight purse, Merritt was supposed to get $8000 and King $7000.
    But King charged back Jeff $3000 for the 'sparring session' money that he had to give
    back to Ali, for not showing up at the Deer Lake Camp in January (while Ali was
    prepping for his January 28, 1974 bout with Joe Frazier).

    King let Jeff keep the $8000, but he took Jeff's 1973 Buick Riviera instead for the
    reimbursement.
     
  2. Il Duce

    Il Duce Boxing Addict Full Member

    6,972
    21
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 18, 2010
    "Candy Slim' Merritt dropped from #8 to #17 in the rankings after his
    March 'knock-out' loss to Henry Clark.

    He remained inactive, due to the fact that he was 'labeled' damaged goods
    (drug related).
    In June, he dropped out of the ratings.
    He got some work as an Ali sparring partner at the Deer Lake Camp, in
    his early-prepping for his bout with George Foreman in October.

    He was supposed to fight 'an easy' fight in July, but as usuall he withdrew
    'claiming illness'.
    He also was 'starched' twice in sparring sessions.
    He was also being mentioned as a possible opponent for 'top contender' Ron Lyle, in Denver,
    but that fight never got any traction.
     
  3. Il Duce

    Il Duce Boxing Addict Full Member

    6,972
    21
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 18, 2010
    By mid-late 1974 he was in trouble again,

    Out on the street his drug use was out-of-control, and he continued into
    a 'downward spiral'.
    He was despondent following the 'upset' knock-out loss to Henry Clark.
    He couldn't handle it, feeling that he let the opportunity of a 'lifetime' slip by.
    Robbery, burglary and drugs all led to a one-way street 'back to jail'.
     
  4. mister

    mister Active Member Full Member

    712
    0
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Sep 30, 2010
    never heard of him:think
     
  5. Il Duce

    Il Duce Boxing Addict Full Member

    6,972
    21
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 18, 2010
    mister,

    Not too many people remember 'Candy Slim' Merritt.
    But at the end of 1973 and early 1974 he was considered one of the Top '5' of
    the hardest hitting heavyweights.
    He was a Don King fighter.
    King had a hard time getting him fights, because of his murderous left hook.
     
  6. highguard

    highguard Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,792
    4
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Apr 12, 2010
    IL duce

    where does the story go from there
     
  7. Il Duce

    Il Duce Boxing Addict Full Member

    6,972
    21
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 18, 2010
    High-Guard,

    Thanks for your interest.

    In mid 1974, he was participating at the Deer Lake Camp, in Pennsylvannia, in sparring.
    It was before the Ali team headed out to Zaire for the Foreman fight.
    Since King had no interest in getting him fights on the 'cheap', he farmed him out to
    Deer Lake.
    A tentative bout with Ron Lyle was in the works, but that never came to
    fruition.
    In a couple of sparring sessions with Roy 'Tiger' Williams he got laid out.
    There was a couple of under-card bouts being put together for October 1974 in Zaire.
    'Candy Slim' was mentioned, to possibly face Henry Clark again, in a re-match (third fight).
    Jeff Merritt would have gotten $10,000 for the fight.
    But something happened (ie; drugs or burglary), and Merritt was banished from
    Ali's camp.
    Roy Williams got the Henry Clark fight (which never took place).

    It is a little 'gray' on just where he went to. But it looks like New York City at the end of 1974, and then
    he got got into trouble.
    Jeff headed back to Kansas City, Missouri in 1975.
    More trouble.
    He supposedly got picked up in a stolen car, that was involved in a burglary.
    Back to jail for 1975 and 1976, in the Missouri State Penitentiary.

    When he got out in July 1976, he went back into training, with the help of former manager
    and New York businessman Norman King.
    After 6 weeks of sparring in New York, Norman King got Jeff Merritt a great 'comeback' fight.
     
  8. Il Duce

    Il Duce Boxing Addict Full Member

    6,972
    21
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 18, 2010
    On August 14, 1976.

    Jeff 'Candy Slim' Merritt 23-2-0 (18 KO's)
    versus
    Stan 'Avalanche' Ward 5-0-2 (3 KO's)
    At Utica, New York
    On the undercad of the George Foreman vs. Scott Ledoux fight.

    The fight was broadcast on CBS-TV, 4:30 PM (EDT) Saturday, August 14, 1976.

    The 28-year old Merritt was expecting an easy win. At 6' 5" and a solid 227 lbs., and with 6 solid weeks
    of sparring under his belt, it looked like an easy fight with the inexperienced Ward.
    Merritt looked very good in his sparring sessions at Gleason's Gym in New York.

    For Stan Ward, at 27-years old, the 6' 2" 231 lb. fighter was big and strong, but slow and ponderous.
    It was a fairly even match-up.
    Each fighter was to get $6500 for their undercard bout.
    The Foreman-LeDoux fight was broadcast on CBS-TV.
    If the fight ended early, it was possible that the taped fight (preliminary) of Merritt-Ward would be shown on TV.

    As for the fight, it was broadcast on CBS after the Foreman-LeDoux fight was stopped in the 3rd round.

    As reported by 'The Observer-Dispatch'

    Round 1;
    Jeff 'Candy Slim' started out fast, and boxed (suprisingly) instead of slugging away. He jabbed straight and hard. He moved good in the ring, and stayed in control. All of his puches were fired straight, as he abandoned any hooks.
    Mid-way through the round he landed a good right hand lead, followed by a short inside left, which bothered Ward.. Stan Ward had no early answer, and was content to absorb puches and wait for an opening.
    Near the end of the first round, 'Candy Slim' fired off a 1-2 combination, followed by a sharp left jab to Ward's right eye swelling it immediately.
    Round (1); Jeff Merritt

    Round 2;
    Begins where Round 1 left off. Merritt continues to box and move. Firing straight, hard jabs at Ward's right eye.
    Ward plods forward, but can't get close to Merritt. Merritt jabs, then moves to his left, to stay away from Wards left
    hook. Ward attempts a left hook but misses, then is short with a jab. Ward is moving forward, as Merritt is jabbing and re-treating. To keep Ward off, Merritt attempts a sweeping right, but misses badly. Ward lands (2) left jabs, as
    Merritt fires back with a left hook that grazes Wards jaw. Merritt lands a hard jab, but misses with a follow-up
    left hook. Ward lands a weak straight right to Merritts head. Wards right eye is swelling shut. Jeff fires a
    vicous left hook to the head that Ward blocks. Stan Ward backs up for the first time in the fight, as his right eye
    is bothering him. Merritt shoots out a couple of mediocre left jabs as the round ends.
    Round 2; Jeff Merritt

    Round 3;
    Jeff Merritt again comes out with straight hard jabs. Stan Ward bends down to avoid them, and fires a sharp jab to
    Merrits mid-section. Ward his having a hard time seeing out his right eye. Merritt throws a slow jab, and fires a straight right that lands. Ward counters back with his best punch of the fight, a left hook. Merritt slows, but is O.K.
    Jeff Merritt shoots out another hard jab, but misses with a follow-up. Ward lands a left jab, then ties-up Merritt in a
    clinch. Ward slams a right to the left-side of Merritt's body, as both fighters move toward the ropes,
    (to Merritts left side and to Ward's right side). There, they exchange punches. The action is even, until Ward
    lands a big left hook which stuns 'Candy Slim'. Merritt is dazed, and Ward follows uo with a big right hand that sends
    Merriit reeling back into the ropes. Stan Ward opens up with several punches as Merritt is defenseless along the ropes.
    Another left hook lands, and the referee jumps in and stops the fight at 2:54 of the 3rd Round.
     
  9. dyna

    dyna Boxing Junkie banned

    8,715
    12
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 1, 2012
    It's ok if I bump this?

    This content is protected


    Nobody knows about Jeff right now so this is a nice thread to have on the first page.
     
  10. dyna

    dyna Boxing Junkie banned

    8,715
    12
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 1, 2012
    Why isn't Stander-Merritt on boxrec?
    This content is protected
     
  11. Sardu

    Sardu RIP Mr. Bun: 2007-2012 Full Member

    3,581
    30
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jan 22, 2008
    Is Merritt still alive? What a tragic story of unfufilled potential. Don King is a scoundrel as everyone already knows very well.
     
  12. shavers

    shavers Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,151
    160
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jul 21, 2004
    Larry Holmes has told that the reason Merrit and Shavers got into a wham bam session, was because Shavers had roughed up Merrrit after he got out of prison. Merrit felt he had to exchange the favour and broke Earnies jaw....
     
  13. dyna

    dyna Boxing Junkie banned

    8,715
    12
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 1, 2012
    EFF "CANDY SLIM" MERRITT. 6'5", 220 pounds. Had a rep as a big puncher. Most of his weight was up top. It was his legs that were skinny, hence the name "CANDY SLIM". All 3 of his defeats were by early knockout. Was reported to have done a stretch in prison. Yes, he did take out ERNIE TERRELL in 1 rd when TERRELL was at a point where he should never have been in the ring with MERRITT much less anybody else of consequence. It was TERRELLS last fight. MERRITT was brought in as a sparring partner by ARCHIE MOORE for ERNIE SHAVERS when SHAVERS was in training for JERRY QUARRY. The fight was originally scheduled for the summer of '73, but MERRITT broke SHAVERS jaw in training and the fight was postponed until December. It was reported that SHAVERS jaw was totally unhinged and his chin was resting on his chest when he went back to his corner. QUARRY was furious. He blamed MOORE for the postponement. He said that, words to the effect "MERRITT isnt somebody you get in the ring to spar with. You dont get in the ring with somebody like MERRITT unless it is for money, real money". QUARRY said that MOORE was incompetent and that he wished MOORE was still a fighter becuase "I would love to knock him out". This caused lasting bad blood between the two of them. It is interesting to note that SHAVERS management fired MOORE becuase of this incident. As you know, QUARRY destroyed SHAVERS in the 1st round that DECEMBER at the Garden. Drug problems continually plagued MERRITT and, after stopping RON STANDER in 3 in his next fight after TERRELL, he was knocked out by the light hitting HENRY CLARK in 1 and, strangely, in 3 by the harder hitting but slower STAN WARD. The statement that he now shows up at big fights begging for money is the first thing new I have heard of him in over 25 years. Dan Coli

    How ironic, was just about to post it.


    He might have been the hardest hitter of the division back then in his "prime" how long that might have been.
    Shame just power itself is pretty useless.
     
  14. shavers

    shavers Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,151
    160
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jul 21, 2004
    Holmes in his book also told other crazy stories about Merrit, he seemed like he was total out of it at the time..
     
  15. dyna

    dyna Boxing Junkie banned

    8,715
    12
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 1, 2012
    It's also pretty interesting reading old newspapers from the 60s/70s, shame google doesn't have all issues.