Bonecrusher Smith Speaker Profile
Former WBA Heavyweight Champion
Bonecrusher Smith Biography
James "Bonecrusher" Smith was born April 3, 1953 and is a former boxer who was, between December 1986 and March 1987, the WBA heavyweight champion, losing the title in his first defense. He was the first heavyweight champion with a college degree.
He lost his first fight against James "Broad-Axe" Broad, a world class amateur and qualifier for the 1980 Olympics who was 2–0 as a pro. The fight was broadcast on ESPN, and Smith had come in at short notice and was not in great shape, looking out of depth against the skilled Broad. Smith was dropped in 4 rounds with body shots, and counted out.
The following year Smith upset future cruiserweight world champion and southpaw Ricky Parkey, then 2–0 as a pro, by winning a 6 round points decision. After scoring two knockouts, Smith followed up the Parkey win with another upset, an 8 round points decision over Chris McDonald, who was 8–0–1 as a pro and had been a top amateur. He went on to score nine straight knockouts, before traveling to the UK in 1984 to fight a world title eliminator against the hard hitting undefeated British prospect Frank Bruno, who was 21–0 (21 KO). Once again Bonecrusher would throw a spanner in the works. Having been outboxed with relative ease by Bruno for the first nine rounds, he unleashed a salvo of power punches to KO Bruno in the tenth and final round, and qualified for a world title shot. The fight showed all his strengths and weaknesses — he couldn't box with the best, but had a great chin and world class power in his both hands.
In November 1984 he fought the long reigning Larry Holmes for the IBF heavyweight championship. Holmes had a record of 45–0 and had won eighteen straight world title fights. After rocking Holmes several times, a waning Smith was stopped on advice of the doctor in the 12th round, due to a bad cut. He again was behind on points.
Smith came back in 1985 relegated to fighting on Don King undercards. He lost a 10 round decision to 19–0 amateur star and future world champ Tony Tubbs in an eliminator, won a 10 round decision over 18–1 Cuban contender Jose Ribalta, but then dropped a wide 12 round decision to ex-world champ Tim Witherspoon in a bid for Witherspoon's NABF belt.
1986 started no better as he dropped Marvis Frazier, also breaking Frazier's jaw, but still lost the 10 round decision. At this time Bonecrusher began consulting a psychiatrist. In his next fight he demolished hard-punching ex-world champ Mike Weaver in one round. He followed it up with two 10 round decisions over Jesse Ferguson (14–2) and David Bey (15–2), arguably his most important decision wins.
In December 1986, while preparing for a fight with the erratic Mitch "Blood" Green, Don King informed him at short notice that Tony Tubbs had dropped out of his upcoming challenge to reigning WBA champ Tim Witherspoon, and now Smith would be getting a rematch with his former conqueror, his second world title fight.
Knowing of Witherspoon's mental weariness and lack of passion due to a never ending legal war with King, and with a million dollar shot at WBC champ Mike Tyson looming for the winner, Smith came out fast. He dropped the usually durable Witherspoon three times in the opening round, scoring a shocking first round knockout and winning the WBA title. After the Bruno fight it was the second biggest win of his career.
In March 1987 Smith put up his WBA belt against Tyson's WBC belt in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of a unification tournament. Tyson tried to throw bombs, and Smith held excessively, losing nearly every round in a boring fight. However it was in the final 30 seconds of the fight that Smith finally decided to let his hands go. A desperation right hand seemed to freeze Tyson, yet it was too late. Smith lost his world title on a wide points decision. The loss also had professional damaging consequences with Tyson's then manager Jim Jacobs who refused to put Smith on any future Tyson undercards.
Bonecrusher Smith Hiring and Booking InformationPopular boxing greats such as a Bonecrusher Smith didn’t have an easy road in the ring. The booking agents at AthletePromotions can help with Bonecrusher Smith appearances and speaking engagements from some of boxing’s best. Our experience in the industry, allow us to easily hire boxers like Bonecrusher Smith. Our agents can provide fees, availability, and all costs associated in bringing out a true fighter to your next big event. We can find Bonecrusher Smith’s agent to make your next event the best it can be. A Bonecrusher Smith appearance will definitely add excitement to your upcoming event. Most likely, boxing fans and corporations can find Bonecrusher Smith's official website, charity involvement, Twitter account, representation, publicist and management info at www.Bonecrusher Smith.com.
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