Born Jerome Vincent Jeffords in New York City on April 23, 1891. Fighting as Jeff Smith, he turned pro in 1910. One of the most traveled fighters in history, “The Bayonne Globetrotter“ boxed in France, Australia, England, Canada and Mexico. It is estimated he trekked nearly 500,000 miles during his 17-year career.
An outstanding defensive boxer, Smith possessed superior infighting skills and an effective left hook. In 1912 he defeated George Chip (W 15) and engaged in 10-round no-decision bouts with Mike Gibbons and Mike Glover. While in Australia in 1914 he bested Eddie McGoorty (W 20) and Jimmy Clabby (W 20) before splitting two fights with Les Darcy (W 5, LF 2) in 1915. After returning stateside he closed out the year with another win over Chip (WF 7). In 1917 he met future middleweight king Harry Greb for the first of seven encounters. Unable to secure a title contest during his time, Smith earned recognition as the “Uncrowned Middleweight Champion.” The 5’9” Smith frequently tested light heavyweight and heavyweight waters – meeting Hall of Famers Georges Carpentier, Tommy Loughran and Gene Tunney before retiring in 1927. Rumored to have boxed nearly 600 bouts, his official record is 149-31-5 (52 KOs).
In retirement he was a physical education instructor with the Bayonne Board of Education and taught boxing lessons at the local YMCA. Smith passed away on February 3, 1962 in Levittown, New Jersey.
Born: April 23, 1891
Died: Feb. 3, 1962