Buck Smith (born July 22, 1965) is an American professional boxer in the cruiserweight division. Although Smith has never been considered more than a journeyman fighter, he is one of boxing’s all-time knockout kings with 120 KO’s.
Smith turned professional in 1987 without having ever boxed before. He lost his very first pro fight, when he volunteered from an Oklahoma City audience for a no-show. He fought someone named Ali Smith and received $50 for his troubles. He had 15 minutes to prepare and competed in streetshorts and basketball shoes. Despite losing, Buck Smith managed to last the distance and from then on was obsessed with becoming a fighter. After the loss, Smith embarked on a long winning streak, fighting just about every week, albeit against very ordinary opposition in small club venues. When questioned on the level of competition he was facing, Smith calmely responded: “I´m not fighting one bum a month, I´m fighting three or four.”
All in all, Smith is officially credited with having boxed 224 professional boxing matches. Of these he won 179, 120 of them by knockout. He lost 19 and boxed to 2 draws. However, it is possible that Smith had fought even more matches under different names, so it is impossible to truly say how many fights he really had.
Despite his long record, Buck Smith never won any major boxing titles. But while most of wins came against unknown opposition, he did manage a few good results. This included a 7th round ko over contender and European champion Kirkland Laing (who once beat the legendary Roberto Duran) and a second round knockout over 1988 Olympic gold medalist Robert Wangila.
The win over Wangila got him featured in “Ring Magazine”, the most prominent of all boxing publications. at the time, Smith sported an official record of 96-2-1 with 70 wins by ko and was ranked 13th at welterweight by the WBC.
He also lost to several former and future champions that included Buddy McGirt, Mark Breland, Julio Cesar Chavez and Antonio Margarito.
It is also notable that Buck Smith once fought twice in one day. On May 19, 1992 he fought Marco Davis in Kansas City and won by ko in two rounds. Less than 3 hours later, he was back in Oklahoma City and won a six round decision over Rodney Johnson.
A similar “iron man stint” by Buck Smith occurred in the month of March in 1993 when Buck Smith fought a total of 12 professional boxing matches. He won all 12, 9 of them by knockout.
Buck Smith last fought June 30, 2007. Fighting far above his best weight, he lost to Marcus Olivera by second round ko in a cruiserweight contest.
His last win came in a bout with Manuel Esparza against whom he won a 4 round decision in December 1997. That means he has not won a single fight in the last ten years. His record stands at 179 wins, 20 losses, 2 draws, and 25 no contests in 226 fights.
Smith is perhaps best known for his role in the government’s attempted crackdown on fight fixing in 2004-2005. Smith, along with colleagues Verdell Smith and Sean Gibbons, were called upon to give testimony. The crew were nicknamed the Knucklehead Boxing Club, and traveled throughout the Midwest making frequent appearances on fight cards.