1894-06-04 (116lbs) Willie Smith w rtd 3 (20) Johnny Ryan, NSC, Covent Garden, London, England
1894-06-04 (116lbs) Willie Smith w rtd 3 (20) Johnny Ryan, NSC, Covent Garden, London, England. Referee: Bernard J. Angle. Despite a lack of billing, later gossip credits Smith (115) with backing up his English 116lbs title claim following his win over Ryan (116), and he immediately issued challenges to George Dixon and Billy Plimmer. Despite looking the smaller man, Smith boxed well within himself, stunning Ryan and his supporters when twice dropping the Northerner in the opening session. Both men went over together in the second such was the ferocity of Smith’s attacks, however it was Ryan who suffered the most when put down three more times. Hammered around the ring in the third round it seemed a certainty that the badly outgunned Ryan would be knocked out, but he somehow made it to the bell before being retired by his corner.
Although Smith was repeatedly challenging all the leading lights at 116lbs into 1896, as a growing lad this would be the last fight at that weight for him.