Mysterious Billy Smith

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Class of 2009
Old Timer Category
Hall of Fame bio:click

Name: Mysterious Billy Smith
Birth Name: Billy Amos Smith
Born: 1871-05-15
Birthplace: Little River, Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died: 1937-10-14 (Age:66)
Hometown: Portland, Oregon, USA
Height: 5′ 8½″   /   174cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainer: Billy Hennessey
Managers: St.Clair Smith, Frank Dunn, Jack Fahie, Billy Roche

  • Born in either Little River, Nova Scotia or East Port, Missouri
  • Died in Portland, OR (of uremia, after a long illness)
  • Boxed from 1891 from 1915, mostly out of Portland, Oregon
  • Generally regarded as one of the dirtiest fighters in boxing history. (An article entitled "Mysterious Billy Smith: The Dirtiest Fighter of All Time" was published in the January 1992 The Ring magazine.)
  • Father of boxer Mysterious Billy Smith Jr. of Portland, OR, USA
  • Photo #2; Photo #3, Photo #4

Career Highlights

  • First claimed the World Welterweight Title after a December 14, 1892, knockout win in 14 rounds over Danny Needham. He defended this claim once.
  • Had two unsuccessful attempts at the World Welterweight Title in 1894 and 1895. Both bouts came against Tommy Ryan(L 20, D 18)
  • Won the World Welterweight Title on August 25, 1898, when he defeated Matty Matthews on a 25-round decision.
  • He then lost the Welterweight Title to Rube Ferns on January 15, 1900 on a foul, after knocking him down fifteen times in the bout. Due to the controversial manner of the outcome, he still claimed the title.
  • Lost all claims on the Welterweight Title on April 17, 1900, when he was knocked out in 19 rounds by Matty Matthews

Newspaper Factoids

  • Reported by the Everett Daily Herald, October 15, 1937, as having been born in East Port, Missouri (not Canada).
  • After his boxing career, he conducted a saloon and later a beer parlor in Portland, Oregon.
  • On Dec. 17, 1911, at Portland, Oregon, he was shot three times by the husband of his divorced wife--Capt. A.B. Loomis. Although seriously wounded, he recovered.
  • The Dec. 21 Tacoma Daily News reported that his debut bout had been a L-10 to "Brocky" Frank Purcell of Salt Lake City at the California A. C., San Francisco.
  • The August 26, 1927 Daily News Searchlight of Bremerton, WA, USA, reported that Smith ran a Tacoma hotel business. It also reported that he was near death on Sept. 10.