Wallace Smith (boxer)

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Wallace "Bud" Smith
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 ft 6 12 in (169 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1924-04-02)April 2, 1924
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died July 10, 1973(1973-07-10) (aged 49)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 60
Wins 31
Wins by KO 18
Losses 23
Draws 6
No contests 0

Wallace "Bud" Smith (April 2, 1924 – July 10, 1973) was a world lightweight boxing champion in 1955, who also competed in the 1948 Olympic Games. His trainer was John Joiner of Cincinnati, and his manager was Vic Marsillo. Smith was murdered in 1973.[1][2][3]

Impressive amateur career[edit]

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Smith was the 1947 A.A.U. Featherweight Champion. He won Chicago's 1948 lightweight Golden Gloves inter-city tournament with a furious attack against Luis Ortiz, achieving a knockout in 2:45 of the second round. He represented the United States at the 1948 Olympic Games in the lightweight division. Smith defeated Chuck Davey of Michigan State University, to earn a spot on the team.[2]

On August 24, 1949, in a little remembered bout, he defeated Joe Discepoli in a ten round unanimous decision in Cincinnati to take the USA Ohio State Lightweight Championship. He reportedly ended his amateur career with a 52-4 record.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Smith turned pro on November 29, 1948 with a first round knockout of Torpedo Tinsley at the Music Hall in Cincinnati. Over the next seven years, Smith established himself as one of the world's top lightweights with victories over top-rated Red Top Davis, Orlando Zulueta, and Arthur Persley.[2][1]

On November 20, 1954, Smith knocked out Arthur Persley in nine rounds in Miami on his way to his 1955 title shot.[1]

Defeating Orlando Zulueta, May, December 1953[edit]

On May 5, 1953, Smith first defeated Cuban prodigy Orlando Zulueta in a ten round unanimous decision at Cincinnati Gardens. On December 11, 1953, Smith defeated Zulueta again in a ten round Unanimous Decision at Madison Square Garden.[1] The win helped Smith earn his much desired title bout against Jimmy Carter, as Zuleta was the number two contender for the lightweight crown at the time. In a somewhat close match before a small crowd of only 2,991, Smith's aggressiveness and solid punching won him the match, though Zulueta scored frequently with quick left jabs to the head and rights to the body.[4]

Taking the World Lightweight Championship, June 1955[edit]

On June 29, 1955, Smith beat the 4-1 odds against him and defeated 3-time world lightweight champion Jimmy Carter in a fifteen round split decision at Boston Garden to take the title. The fight was fierce and bloody and only 1,983 fans turned out for the contest between the black contestants who were not especially well known. Carter needed fifteen stitches over his eyes to mend from the rough bout, in which he likely took the worst damage of his career. Even Smith needed three stitches to recover from the bout.[5][1]

Single defense of the title, October 1955[edit]

Four months later on October 19,1955, he successfully defended the title against Carter in Cincinnati, winning in a fifteen round unanimous decision.[6] A national TV audience was unable to see the announcement of the final decision, because one of the judges, Joe Blink, had difficulty in adding up his scorecard, in what Sports Illustrated described as "the long, long count" [7]

Losing the World Lightweight Championship, August 1956[edit]

On August 24, 1956, Smith lost his title in an upset to Joe Brown in a fifteen round split decision in New Orleans. Smith was down twice in the fourteenth round. The Associated Press had Smith ahead eight rounds to seven, though the officials gave him a greater lead, and Smith may have won the bout if not for suffering a broken right hand in the second round.[8] In a rematch with Brown on February 13, 1957, Smith lost to Brown in an eleventh round TKO in Miami. Smith went on to fight one more year, ending his career after losing 11 straight fights, half by knockout.

Life after boxing[edit]

Smith formally retired from boxing in 1959. The years passed by, and Smith dropped out of the public spotlight. His life was far from an easy one, with several brushes with the law, but the good-natured Smith was a popular figure in his neighborhood.[9]


On July 10, 1973 Smith saw a man beating up a woman in Cincinnati and stepped in. After a struggle, the man pulled a gun and shot Smith in the head, killing him.[10][9]


Preceded by
Jimmy Carter
World Lightweight Champion
29 June 1955–24 August 1956
Succeeded by
Joe Brown

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Wallace Smith". BoxRec. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Wallace Smith Bio". BoxRec Bio. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Wallace Smith". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Smith Scores Win Over Cuban", The Fresno Bee The Republican, Fresno, California, pg. 11, 13 December 1953
  5. ^ Hoobing, Bob, "Gains Split Decision in Bloody Bout", The Bridgeport Telegram, Bridgeport, Connecticut, pg. 80, 30 June 1955
  6. ^ "Bud Smith Wins Confused Decision Over Jimmy Carter," Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico, p. 18, 20 October 1955
  7. ^ Sports Illustrated, pgs. 12-13, 31 October 1955
  8. ^ "Joe Brown Captures Lightweight Crown", The Gazette and Daily, York, Pennsylvania, pg. 22, 25 August 1956
  9. ^ a b "Ex-Ring Champ is Shot to Death", The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pg. 25, 11 June 1973
  10. ^ http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=AB&Dato=20110730&Kategori=SPT&Lopenr=107300807&Ref=PH

External links[edit]