Harry Smith
(Harold Anthony Smith)
(the "Harlem Thunderbolt")

BORN   October 28 1907; Kingston, Jamaica
DIED September 19 1933; Chicago, Illinois
WEIGHT 155-175 3/4 lbs
MANAGER Dave Brown

Smith was a devastating hitter who could handle any man his size and most larger men; His right hand was deadly; As a result of his skills, most of the top men avoided fighting him; Those who did paid the price

Harry had an awesome amateur record and had lost only one professional fight (by foul) up to 1931; He won the Colored Middleweight Championship of the World in 1929 and may have won the major one if given the chance

During his career, he defeated such men as William "Gorilla" Jones, Jimmy Francis, Osk Till, Yale Okun, Babe McCorgary, Fred Lenhart, Frank Rowsey, Billy Alger, Homer Robertson, Jack McVey, Pal Silvers and Sandy Garrison Casanova

Al Lippe once wrote that Harry Smith was the most ferocious puncher he ever saw and thought he could knock out any middleweight or light-heavyweight in the world. An imposing figure with fearsome power in his right hand, Harry Smith was the scourge of the middleweights for a brief time in the early thirties. His difficulty in getting top-flight middles to face him was summed up best by Ed Hughes of the Brooklyn Eagle: "Harry Smith is the worst kind of opponent: a colored boy who can sock."
Harry's list of victims included Title Claimant "Gorilla" Jones, the venerable Jack McVey, Osk Till, Yale Okun, Fred Lendhart and Joe Anderson. But what may be more impressive than those whom Harry actually defeated is the list of fighters who refused to face the "Harlem Thunderbolt". Maxie Rosenbloom, twice refused Smith as an opponent in 1930 and so too did Mickey Walker whom reportedly turned down a guaranteed $50,000 offer from Jess McMahon to fight Harry for the title at Ebbets Field in the summer of 1930. Black fighters wanted little to do with Smith as well. Light heavyweights Larry Johnson and Billy Jones both turned down bouts with Smith in Pittsburgh citing other obligations. But no prospective opponent was clearer in his or her unwillingness to face Harry than middleweight Tiger Thomas, a decent fighter and stable-mate of George Godfrey's. When asked by the Pittsburgh Courier's Rollo Wilson why he had turned down a proposed match with Harry, Thomas stated, "cause I don't think my momma would want me dyin' in Philadelphia."
Harry's reign of terror was brief. After moving to the West Coast in 1931, his love of wine, women and cabaret's took their toll. He was knocked out by journeyman Jimmy Hannah (who Smith had beaten a few months earlier) and never regained his form. He made an unsuccessful sojourn to Europe in 1932 and after several defeats, returned to America a has-been.
On October 19th, 1933 Harry Smith died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Chicago en route to California. He was to have been married two days later.

1998 Kevin Smith

*** Important Amateur Bouts :  Record 60-0 (55 kayos) ***

Mar 25 Tom Ferro                  New York, NY                     KO  2
          -This was Smith's first amateur bout
Mar 26 Frank Baldi                New York, NY                     KO  2
Apr 10 Ed Schwartz                New York, NY                     KO  1
Jul 16 Art Moran                  New York, NY                     KO  3
Mar 29 Frankie Merno              New York, NY                     KO  1
Jun  3 Kid Rumson                 New York, NY                     KO  1
Aug 23 Ed Priest                  New York, NY                     KO  1
Dec 21 Billy Burns                New Haven, Ct                    KO  2

          -Smith won the Canadian Amateur Middleweight Championship

          -Smith won the Inter-City Middleweight Championship

Metropolitan Amateur Championship Competition
Jan 27 Edward Fuchs               New York, NY                     KO  1
Jan 28 Cliff Gardnerb             New York, NY                      W  3 
          -Metropolitan Amateur Middleweight Championship;
           Jack Dempsey refereed this bout
Feb 11 Stan Seymour               New York, NY                     KO  1 

*** Professional Bouts ***

Mar    -Smith turned Professional
Apr  7 Gene McCue                 New York, NY                     KO  5
Jun 23 Billy George               New York, NY                     KO  1
Aug    Henry Shaw                 New York, NY                     KO  2
Aug  8 Joe Hummell                Mineola, NY                      KO  2
Aug 24 Jimmy Sullivan             Rockaway, NY                     KO  3
Sep  8 Joe Salino                 Brooklyn, NY                     TK  3
Sep 22 Joe Pisano                 Brooklyn, NY                     KO  1
Oct  6 Jackie Miller              Brooklyn, NY                     TK  1
Oct 20 Joe Harris                 Brooklyn, NY                     KO  3 
Nov    Willie Feldman             Detroit, Mi                      KO  3
Nov 24 George Deschner            New York, NY                      W  6
Dec 15 Joey Knapp                 New York, NY                      W 10
Dec 21 Eddie Phister              New York, NY                     KO  1
          -Some sources report "Eddie Pfeister"

Feb  9 Gummy Snyder               Brooklyn, NY                      W  6
Apr  6 Nick Palmer                Brooklyn, NY                     LF  1
May 24 Gary Leach                 Boston, Ma                       KO  1
Jun  8 Billy Alger                Brooklyn, NY                      W  6
          -Some sources report "W 10"
Jun 17 Dick Evans                 Holyoke, Ma                       W 10
Jul 15 Homer Robertson            Boston, Ma                       KO  7
          -Some sources report "TK 8"
Aug  6 Henry Goldberg             Long Island City, NY             WF  5
Oct  5 Billy Montgomery           New York, NY                     KO  1
          -Some sources report "Billy Morangonthay"
Oct 19 Eddie Dempsey              New York, NY                     KO  5
Nov 16 Jack McVey                 New York, NY                      W 15
          -Colored Middleweight Championship of the World
Dec 11 Billy Kohut                Bronx, NY                        KO  4
Dec 20 Billy Green                Boston, Ma                       KO  2

Jan  1 Frankie Kornelius          Holyoke, Ma                      KO  3
          -Some sources report "Frank Kearns"
Jan  7 Pal Silvers                Brooklyn, NY                     TK  5
Jan 18 Jimmy Francis              New York, NY                     KO  2
Jan 28 Johnny Krieger             Brooklyn, NY                      W 10
Feb  3 Connie Josenio             Jamaica, NY                      KO  5
Mar  1 Osk Till                   New York, NY                     KO  2
Apr 12 Billy Franklin             New York, NY                     TK  5
Apr 18 Billy Shaw                 New York, NY                     KO  1
Apr 30 Billy George               New York, NY                     KO  1
May 24 Charley Belanger           New York, NY                      D 10
Jun  2 Billy Franklin             Freeport, NY                     TK  2
          -Some sources report "TK 3"
Jun  4 Mickey Fedor               New York, NY                      W  6
Jun 18 Yale Okun                  Brooklyn, NY                      W 10
Jul 23 Babe McCorgary             Brooklyn, NY                     KO  3
Aug 13 Joe Tinsley                Poughkeepsie, NY                 KO  7
          -Some sources report "KO 5" against "Joe Kingsley" on 8/12/30
Sep  4 William "Gorilla" Jones    Long Island City, NY             NC  9
Sep 11 Mickey Fedor               Freeport, NY                      W  6
          -Some sources report "KO 3" on 9/05/30
Sep 30 Eddie Bremer               Brooklyn, NY                     KO  5
          -Some sources report "Eddie Hulsebus"
Oct  5 Eddie Matranger            New York, NY                     KO  1
Oct 23 William "Gorilla" Jones    New York, NY                      W 10
Nov 21 Tait Littman               New York, NY                      D 10

Jan 19 Frank Boja                 Jamaica, NY                      TK  4
          -Some sources report "KO 5"
Apr 10 Fred Lenhart               New York, NY                     KO  1
Apr 17 Chief Wilbur               New York, NY                     KO  7
May  5 Tony Ferrante              Brooklyn, NY                     TK  2
Jul 28 Frank Rowsey               Los Angeles, Ca                   W  6
Aug 11 Harry Goodland             Los Angeles, Ca                  KO  2
Aug 28 Jimmy Hannah               San Francisco, Ca                 W 10
          -Some sources report "Los Angeles, Ca"
Sep 22 Joe Anderson               Los Angeles, Ca                  TK  3
Oct  2 Jimmy Hannah               San Francisco, Ca                LK 10
Dec  8 Sandy Garrison Casanova    Los Angeles, Ca                   W 10

Jan 15 Vincent Forgione           San Francisco, Ca                NC  9
          -Some sources report "NC 4"
Mar 24 Yale Okun                  New York, NY                      L  8
May 17 George Manley              Los Angeles, Ca                   L 10
Jul 12 Yale Okun                  Los Angeles, Ca                   L 10
Nov 14 Pierre Gandon              Paris, Fr                         L 10
Nov 30 Emile Lebrize              Paris, Fr                        LF  7
Dec  7 Willie "Snowy" Unwin       London, Eng                      KO  5
          -Some souces report "KO 6" 

*** The Following Bouts Are Reported But Not Confirmed ***

       Dynamite Jackson                                           SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known

       Billy Kohut                New York, NY                     KO  3
       Eddie Matranger            New York, NY                     KO  1
       Eddie Bowie                Philadelphia, Pa                 KO  2
       Barney Shaw                New York, NY                     KO  1
       Jackie Lee                 New York, NY                     KO  1
       Joe Harris                 Brooklyn, NY                     KO  2
       Young Fisher               Detroit, Mi                      KO  1

*** Assistance Provided by Bob Yalen ***

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis and Kevin Smith, Historians
International Boxing Research Organization
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