This week on the Jeff Mayweather Show, former heavyweight champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith stopped by to talk about his amazing career, as well as his post-fight endeavors.
During his lengthy career, Smith had more than his share of ups and downs. The first heavyweight champion to have a college degree, he was also the first man to go a full twelve rounds with Mike Tyson. Unfortunately, that was during the first defense of his WBA title which he had won late the previous year against Tim Witherspoon.
Though he would lose three out of four contests starting with the loss to Tyson, he again rose to the upper echelon of the division with wins in eleven straight, and seventeen out of nineteen contests. He continued to prosper despite being the advanced age, for boxing, of forty.
One of the more personable fighters of his era, Bonecrusher took on, and beat many of the biggest names of his time. Those he was not able to conquer still knew they had been in there with one of the hardest punchers in the game. Frank Bruno, Tim Witherspoon and Mike Weaver were among the guys he beat in his career which consisted of 44 wins.
Even before the end of his fighting career, he began to set his sights towards what he would do later in life. In 1996, he became an ordained minister. A boxing title is great, but to him, nothing can beat that tile.
In addition to his religious work, Smith is particularly passionate about working with children. He founded ChampionForKids.org whose mission statement is: “We create hometown heroes with mentoring through boxing. If you be all you can be every day, you will be honored as a legend.”
The group frequently teams with the Magic Johnson Foundation to mentor children.
Additionally, he recently authored the book M.A.D – Make A Decision, which chronicles his rise from humble beginnings, to the heavyweight championship of the world. This was done through what he calls having a “Champions Mindset.” Not necessarily a book on boxing, it is a guide on how anyone should approach life to reach their maximum potential.
Please check out Bonecrusher’s appearance on the radio program, where he discusses his fascinating life both inside and outside the ring, as well as going to his personal page where you can find out how to get involved with his programs, as well as where to order his book.