Sunday, August 27, 2017

On This Day: Solly Smith Remembered

Solly Smith was born Solomon Garcia Smith, on March (precise date unknown) 1871, in Los Angeles, California. A clever and rugged boxer, Smith fought many of the top fighters of the 1890s, from bantamweight to lightweight, including, Dal Hawkins, George Siddons, Johnny Van Heest, Oscar Gardner, Johnny Griffin, George Dixon, Young Griffo, George ‘Kid’ Lavigne, Frank Erne, Torpedo Billy Murphy, Eddie Santry, Dave Sullivan, Joe Bernstein, and Kid McFadden.

After beginning his fighting career in 1888, Smith soon established himself as one of the top fighters at bantam and featherweight. He made his first challenge for the World featherweight title on September 25, 1893, but was stopped by George Dixon in 7 rounds. Four years later however, Smith gained revenge over Dixon, when on October 4, 1897, he outpointed Dixon over 20 rounds, to win the world featherweight title.

Smith’s reign last until September 26, 1898, when he was stopped in 5 rounds by Dave Sullivan, after breaking his arm. In his next fight, 5 months later, Sullivan was knocked out in 6 round by Oscar Gardner, in their fight for the featherweight championship of America. Solly Smith fought on for another fine years but was on the downslide as he went 1-7-6 in his last 14 contests.

Solly’s last fight was a 3rd round knockout defeat to Billy Snailham, on August 26, 1904. Solly Smith’s final career record was (27-14-19, 18koes.)

Solly Smith died on August 28, 1933. 

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