How good was Jeff "Candy Slim" Merritt?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by catchwtboxing, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    He has a good win over Ernie Terrell, and I heard he busted Ernie Shaver's jaw in sparring.

    I also heard he was a coke-head who didn't take his career seriously.

    He suspiciously ended his career with a win. Anyone have some thoughts on how good he was, or could have been, or why he hung them up early?
     
  2. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I’ve always wanted to know more about him myself. His record reflects that he might have had a shaky chin
     
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  3. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    His name comes from the fact that he was skinny, and the skinny guys often are. But he also had a coke problem, and that stuff take it out of you.
     
  4. SolomonDeedes

    SolomonDeedes Active Member Full Member

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    Merritt's career pretty much ended in 1974 when he suffered a disastrous 1st round TKO to the light-hitting fringe contender Henry Clark and then got arrested for armed robbery. He made a comeback after getting out of jail but never got back on track.

    It's true about him breaking Earnie Shavers' jaw. Archie Moore got fired as Shavers' trainer for allowing it to happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  5. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Thanks. I appreciate this.
     
  6. OP_TheJawBreaker

    OP_TheJawBreaker NOBODY hit like that guy! Full Member

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  7. scartissue

    scartissue Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Sol, I remember when it happened and read the same piece about Archie getting fired for this. And I believed it until seeing an Earnie Shavers interview. Here is an excerpt:

    DH: Don King wasted no time signing you to a huge match the following month in the Garden with Jerry Quarry. In your own words describe the events that led up to this bout getting cancelled.

    ES: I was sparring with Jeff Merritt and he caught me with my mouth open and broke my jaw. You couldn’t make a mistake like that around Jeff. Jeff was the best puncher I ever met and could have been something. But Jeff loved the ladies and drugs a little too much.

    DH: The official story was that Don would never allow you two to spar and that Archie Moore disobeyed orders, put you two in the ring and was fired over the broken jaw incident. How much truth is there to that?

    ES: None. Jeff and I sparred together all the time. But when this happened, there was a lot of money at stake and somebody had to take the fall. (laughing) And it wasn’t going to be Don.
     
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  8. OP_TheJawBreaker

    OP_TheJawBreaker NOBODY hit like that guy! Full Member

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    He talked about it in his book right?
     
  9. OP_TheJawBreaker

    OP_TheJawBreaker NOBODY hit like that guy! Full Member

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    Larry Holmes said he's the craziest motherf*cker he's ever seen.
     
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  10. scartissue

    scartissue Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I didn't read his book, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was mentioned as it was a point in his career that had a lot of notoriety. But here is that interview in its entirety.

    This content is protected
     
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  11. Titan1

    Titan1 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    George Foreman said he was better than Earnie Shavers and it was a sad case.