Born December 3, 1929 in Hessle, Yorkshire, England, she became interested in boxing as a teen after reading about Polly Burns, who boxed in the early 1900s.
At 18, she began training in London’s Wayfair Gym. The 4’11”, 98 pound Buttrick boxed exhibitions at fairs in England and France as part of a traveling boxing troupe as women’s professional boxing was banned by the BBBC. She ventured to the U.S. in 1952 with her husband / trainer Len Smith recognized as the flyweight champion of the world. She boxed throughout North America and only lost one contest, to JoAnn Hagen, who outweighed her by 30 pounds. Buttrick won the bantamweight championship of the world with a unanimous decision over Phyllis Kugler in 1957. For many years, she trained at Miami’s 5th Street Gym and ultimately relocated to Florida. Buttrick retired in 1961 and during her ground breaking career boxed over 1,000 exhibitions against both men and women and posted a pro record of 30-1-1.
She remained in boxing as a licensed manager and trainer and, in 1993, she started the Women’s International Boxing Federation (WIBF).
Born: Dec. 3, 1929