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 RocheBr> Photo #2; Photo #3, Photo #4


Mysterious Billy Smith was born in either Little River, Nova Scotia, or East Port, Missouri--depending on the source. (Reported by the Everett Daily Herald, October 15, 1937, as having been born in East Port, Missouri (not Canada).) He was the father of boxer Mysterious Billy Smith Jr. of Portland, OR, USA.

He boxed from 1891 from 1915, mostly out of Portland, Oregon. He is 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.)

After his boxing career, he conducted a saloon and later a beer parlor in Portland, Oregon. Smith died in Portland, OR (of uremia, after a long illness).

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

  • 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.
  • January 11, 1916 Tacoma Times article [1]