James (Bonecrusher) Smith

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James "Bonecrusher" Smith

Name: James Smith
Alias: Bonecrusher
Born: 1953-04-03
Birthplace: Magnolia, North Carolina, USA
Hometown: Magnolia, North Carolina, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 4″   /   193cm
Reach: 82″   /   208cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainer: Emile Griffith

James (Bonecrusher) Smith Gallery

  • James (Bonecrusher) Smith graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. Eleven years later, he became the first college graduate to win a world heavyweight title.
  • Joined the U.S. Army after graduating from college.
  • Started boxing in the Army and compiled an amateur record of 35-4. He got the moniker "Bonecrusher" while he was in the Army. [1]
  • Turned professional in 1981 at the age of 28 and lost to James Broad by a fourth-round knockout.
  • Went to England in May 1984 and knocked out undefeated Brit Frank Bruno in ten rounds.
  • Fought Larry Holmes for the IBF Heavyweight Championship in November 1984 and was stopped on a cut in the twelfth round.
  • When Tony Tubbs pulled out of his rematch with WBA Heavyweight Champion Tim Witherspoon in December 1986, Smith took the fight on a one week notice. Smith, who had been outpointed by Witherspoon the previous year, stopped Witherspoon in the first round to win the WBA Heavyweight Championship.
  • Fought WBC Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson in a unification bout in March 1986. Smith fought a very defensive fight and had two points deducted for excessive holding. The fans booed the lack of action throughout the bout. The best action of the fight occurred in the final seconds of the last round when Smith buckled Tyson's knees with a right. Tyson won by a lopsided decision.
  • Smith's last fight was a rematch with Larry Holmes in 1999. The 49-year-old Holmes stopped the 46-year-old Smith in eight rounds.


Preceded by:
Tim Witherspoon
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1986 Dec 12 – 1987 Mar 7
Succeeded by:
Mike Tyson