James "Bonecrusher" Smith
(born April 3, 1953) is a former American boxer
who was briefly WBA heavyweight
champion in the late 1980s. He is the first heavyweight champion with a college degree.
Smith was born in Magnolia
, North Carolina
. After graduating from high school in Warsaw, North Carolina
, he attended James Sprunt Community College
in Kenansville, North Carolina
, earning an associate's degree
in Business Administration in 1973. Two years later, he earned a bachelor's degree
in Business Administration from Shaw University
in Raleigh, North Carolina
After serving in the US military (where he first played around with boxing in the gym) and working as a prison guard, Smith competed in a few amateur fights before turning professional in November 1981, at the late age of 28.
He lost his first fight against James "Broad-Axe" Broad
, a vastly experienced 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 on 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,... Read More