Name: Ted Vernon
Alias: Wolf Man
Hometown: Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Height: 5′ 8″ / 173cm
Boxing Record: click
Ted "Wolfman" Vernon was one of the most colorful and controversial fighters in South Florida during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Vernon was a millionaire auto dealer, whose "hobbies" included: movie acting, singing, movie producing, and prize-fighting.
When the self-styled "Wolfman" went into amateur boxing at the Elizabeth Virrick Gym in Coconut Grove, Florida in 1977, he did not only make the local newspapers, but highlights of his amateur fights made the local television news broadcasts as well. Members of the local South Florida community scratched their heads in wonderment, as to why a millionaire would decide to seek a fistic career at the age of 28.
However, Vernon was determined to have a fistic career. After losing his first amateur match; suffering a broken nose, Vernon went on to compile a 17-1 (7 KOs) amateur record.
Next, the "Wolfman" decided to go pro, and this is where more controversy arose. Some claimed Vernon was fighting exhibitions, but he himself declared, "These are professional matches."
Vernon made his professional boxing debut on July 20, 1979 in West Palm Beach, Florida, knocking out Oscar Dix in three rounds.
Fighting in Fort Lauderdale, Vernon scored back-to-back first-round knockouts in matches that had the fans cheering. At about 5-feet, 8-inches, and a burly 190 pounds, the balding Vernon presented a less than imposing physical figure. However, his critics had to admit that he not only had guts, but punching power as well.
When Vernon fought veteran Costello King who fought under the name "Kent Baker" at the Miami Beach Convention Center on September 25, 1979, a somewhat larger-than-normal crowd appeared for the fight. The cream of Miami's social scene had come to see their "hero" continue his undefeated streak. However, after taking one of King's (Baker's) left hooks, Vernon saw his undefeated streak ended, as he was knocked cold in under a minute.
On May 2, 1980 in Miami Beach, Florida, Vernon was back. He was again featured as a "Special Attraction" at the Convention Center, and yet again, the head-turners and beautiful people came out en mass. This time it was Vernon who scored the knockout: 225-pound Armando Reyes, who was fighting as Armando Royo, went down and out in a mere seventeen seconds. A screaming match followed the victory, as some of the ringside judges claimed this was only an exhibition. However, after some debate, the victory was made official. Vernon supposedly scored another quick knockout over Royo a few weeks later, but by then, the South Beach crowd had enough of the "Wolfman" and his boxing career. However, Vernon's ring record is a subject of debate; BoxRec lists him as 2-1, while other sources list him as 4-1. However, on Vernon's own webpage, he lists his boxing record as 21-1; which may be a combined amateur and pro log.
Ted Vernon went on to produce such cult films as the Scarecrows and Village of the Damned. He even managed an acting career from 1988-1999, appearing in South Beach and Miami 7. In the 1990s, Vernon was the lead singer in the Miami rock band, Ted Vernon and the Bulldogs.
However, the one thing Ted "Wolfman" Vernon is still remembered for in sunny South Florida is that from 1977-1980 he was the "Toast" of the boxing scene in South Beach.
- Miami Herald, June 16, 1985, page 3: SCARECROWS: A FILM FANTASY COME TRUE.
- Miami Herald, June 12, 1985, 2a front page: CELEBRITY NEWS.
- Miami Herald, August 18, 1991, Neighbors, page 16: CRICKETS, TED VERNON TO PERFORM AT FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE.
- Miami Herald, July 15, 1990, Neighbors, page 28: GAMES CHARACTER PLAYS FOR COMPETITION FUN.
- Internet Movie Database.com