|Real name||Buster Mathis|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Reach||76 in (193 cm)|
|Born||June 11, 1943|
Sledge, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||September 6, 1995 (aged 52)|
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Wins by KO||21|
Buster Mathis (June 11, 1943 – September 6, 1995) was an American boxer.
Mathis had a successful career as an amateur heavyweight boxer. He qualified for a spot in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but had to withdraw due to an injury. He was replaced in the tournament by Joe Frazier who went on to win the gold medal.
Mathis turned professional in June 1965 with a second round knockout victory over Bob Maynard. He went on to win his next 22 contests as well and qualified for a shot at the New York State Athletic Commission World Heavyweight Title, which had become vacant after Muhammad Ali was stripped of the title for refusing to be drafted into the United States Army.
Buster Mathis continued to fight in the following years, outpointing George Chuvalo, but losing on points to Jerry Quarry - a fight Mathis was favoured to win. Mathis retired after losing to Quarry in 1969, but returned in 1971 to box Muhammad Ali for the NABF belt, losing on points over 12 rounds. Ali was later criticized for not finishing Mathis in the final rounds of the fight.
A 1980 Sports Illustrated article featured interviews with Mathis and many of Muhammad Ali's other opponents. It reported Mathis worked in the trucking business after he retired from the ring.
Mathis had various health problems in later years, including two strokes, a heart attack, and kidney failure. He died of heart failure at age 52. His son Buster Mathis Jr. became a professional boxer, and fought Mike Tyson in 1995.
Professional boxing record
- Frank Litsky (September 8, 1995). "Buster Mathis, Heavyweight Fighter, Dies at 51". The New York Times. p. B9.
- "BoxRec". boxrec.com.
- Maule, Tex (1971-11-09). "Got To Look Good To Allah". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- "Buster Mathis Story | Bokssport | Train with Buster Mathis in Grand Rapids". Bokssport. Archived from the original on 2019-02-04. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
- "Buster Mathis, Former Ali Opponent, Dies at 51". Los Angeles Times. September 8, 1995.
- AP Archive (24 July 2015). "SYND 27 12 67 35 SECOND HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING MATCH BETWEEN BUSTER MATHIS AND GERRY DE BRUYN". Archived from the original on 2021-12-11 – via YouTube.