Historical Video: Boxer Polly Smith In 1955

July 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Bermudian boxing has grown tremendously in recent years through the exploits of Nikki Bascome, Andre Lambe and Tyler Christopher, but the island has a long history of producing professional fighters.

Clarence Hill, who won the bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, Troy Darrell, Roy Johnson and Teresa Perozzi are among those to have enjoyed respected careers.

Polly Smith, who fought in the 1940s and 1950s, is perhaps lesser well-known; however, his story includes some memorable and colourful chapters – including going the distance with a former world champion.

Primarily a heavyweight, Smith had 40 contests from 1949 to 1956, winning 19 and drawing five, including a bout against Randolph Turpin, who became the middleweight world champion in 1951 after defeating Sugar Ray Robinson, arguably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in history.

Four years after that wild night at Earl’s Court in London, when Turpin shocked the boxing world, the Englishman faced Bermudian Smith in a light-heavyweight bout at Perry Barr Stadium in Birmingham, beating him on points.

A short video has surfaced on YouTube showing the highlights of Smith’s ten-round contest with Turpin, who was honoured with a statue in Market Square, Warwickshire, in 2001 on the 50th anniversary of his momentous world championship win.

Meanwhile, Smith hung up his gloves in 1956 after his fight with Federico Frisco in Bologna, Italy, ended in a draw.

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