Ed (Gunboat) Smith

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Ed (Gunboat) Smith

Name: Gunboat Smith
Alias: Gunner
Birth Name: Edward J. Smyth
Born: 1887-02-17
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: 1974-08-06 (Age:87)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 2″   /   188cm
Reach: 72″   /   183cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainer: Spider Kelly
Managers: Cleve Peters, Jimmy Buckley
Officiating Record: Referee (considered incomplete)

According to the March 28, 1913 Tacoma Daily News (Tacoma, WA, USA), Ed (Gunboat) Smith said he got the nickname "Gunboat" from his fellow United States Navy sailors from the U. S. S. Pennsylvania because of his "gunboat"-sized feet (which some report as being size 11). He was also quoted by this paper as saying that, after his fourth career bout, which he lost to Jim Barry, he thought he did not have what it took to be a boxer. So he quit to work four months in the oil fields before returning to the ring.

It has been reported that Smith had been born with the christian name of Edward Eckblad or Edward Eckhad.

In November of 1917, He was arrested for assaulting his manager Jimmy Buckley. After his ring career was over he became a referee. He was famous for his "occipital punch" -- right hand blow that flashed over an opponent's shoulder to connect with the occipital bone at the base of the skull.

There is an odd story which appeared in many US newspapers of the day that on October 11th, 1909 during a 4-round exhibition bout in preparation for the Johnson-Ketchel fight Gunboat Smith flattened Jack Johnson two minutes into the final round, forcing Johnson's manager to cut the match short. Strangely, the San Francisco Call makes no mention of the incident though it happened in their city. The paper mentions briefly that Johnson had worked with four sparing partners, one of whom was Smith.

Smith also acted in the movies during the 1920s. IMDb credits: [1]