Jeff Sims

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Name: Jeff Sims
Born: 1954-02-19
Birthplace: Belle Glade, Florida, USA
Died: 1993-11-11 (Age:39)
Hometown: Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Height: 6′ 3″   /   191cm
Boxing Record: click

Biography

Jeff Sims was born in Belle Glade, Florida. Sims was raised in a poverty stricken rural region. As a youth he was constantly in trouble with the law. He was arrested at age 21 and sentenced to jail for manslaughter. While in Belle Glade Prison in Belle Glade, Florida, he became interested in boxing. Sims had a powerful punch; reportedly compiled a prison boxing record of 21-0 (21 first round knockouts).

After seven years in jail he was released and turned pro on Miami Beach. He won his first nine bouts by knockout and became "famous" for splitting Muhammad Ali's lip during a sparring match at the 5th Street Gym in 1980. Ali grew a mustache to cover up the cut. Sims also worked as Gerry Cooney's sparring mate. He also won the vacant Florida Heavyweight Title by knocking out Tom (The Bomb) Prater.

Sims was a devastating puncher, but if a foe weathered the first two rounds, Jeff was in trouble. Sims knocked down heavyweight contender Earnie Shavers in the first round of their fight on the undercard of the Muhammad Ali-Trevor Berbick fight in Nassau. Shavers survived the round and went on to knockout Sims. Against Tyrell Biggs, Sims broke the contender's shoulder with one punch, but lost the decision. While watching the fights at the Miami Beach Convention Center in 1981, Sims got into a fist-fight with Argentine heavyweight Luis Acosta.

Tough fights, and a hard living lifestyle soon caught up to Jeff Sims. His reflexes slowed, and his legs were "gone". Sims started to lose, and by the end of his career, he suffered knockouts to former world heavyweight champions James (Bonecrusher) Smith and Tim Witherspoon.

Jeff Sims' face bore the scars of his tough life. He tried hard to go on the "straight and narrow path", as he himself put it. However, justice finally caught up with him in Liberty City, Florida, in front of Earl's Market, when he became involved in an argument with another market customer. Sims, who had been shot seven times previously, was shot in the chest and died.

Sources

  • Miami Herald, November 12, 1993, 4B Local: "JEFF SIMS, HEAVYWEIGHT BOXER, SHOT IN MIAMI.
  • Miami Herald, January 19, 1989, Neighbors MB, page 10: ONE BOXER'S BATTLE REFLECTS BEACH ERA.
  • Miami Herald, September 21, 1984: SIMS TKO'S NELSON IN TWO.
  • Miami Herald, January 7, 1984, Sports, page 2C: SIMS WINS ON DISQUALIFICATION.
  • Miami Herald, September 30, 1982, 6D Sports: BULLETS KEEP FINDING BOXER SIMS.