It’s an easy name to remember, and he’s an easy person to like.
China Smith, Jr. is a Florida native, hailing from Sarasota & born on September 15, 1978. After graduating high school as one of the top running backs in the nation (having over 25 touchdowns & over 1,300 yards rushing), China turned down scholarships from the likes of the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, Michigan, and Notre Dame to pursue boxing. China is an athlete, a supreme athlete, who can box.
The 6’ 1”/185cm southpaw is nationally and internationally known as China “The Dragon” Smith. His perseverance and dedication toward multiple boxing championship titles, a heart to “give back”, and community involvement has earned him the nickname “The People’s Champ”!
After turning pro at 18, Smith continued to acquire four boxing championship belts at a young age. China’s career accomplishments include winning the Florida Golden Gloves, Junior US Nationals, a Florida State Tournament title, three Sunshine State Championship titles, two NBA (National Boxing Association) Continental Championships, and two NBA World Championships.
China has been brought along slowly using his speed and power, knocking out a series of outclassed opponents. Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing delicate about this fighter who specializes breaking down his opponent with concentrated and continuous body blows. “The Dragon” has an impressive record with 27 knockouts in his 35 victories. The WBF North American Heavyweight Champion is currently pursuing the world heavyweight title and moving up the heavyweight ranks.
Known as being clean-cut (China has never smoked, drank, or done illegal drugs), he’s also known as being moral and honorable both inside and outside the ring; Smith is said to be somewhat a rarity within the sports world today. China said, “I feel really good about the way I’ve been brought up (China comes with a pedigree, his father, China Smith, Sr. also was a boxer). I try to be a gentleman first, which I am a gentleman. I will do any positive thing I can do as long as it’s the right thing.” China is a talented fighter with humbleness and true sincerity.
China has fought in various locations including Sarasota, Tampa, Panama City Beach, Aruba, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, and on TV (Showtime) with a viewing audience of 30 million people.
In addition to his devotion to boxing, Smith is known in his hometown as a hero (receiving a key to the city and his very own China Smith Day parade) and mentor to kids and young adults. China believes in “knocking out negativity”. He encourages students to listen to other people, (especially their parents), make wise choices, and stay in school. After years of speaking at churches, clubs, and organizations about important fundamental strengths, he founded his own non-profit children’s organization, China Smith and Friends Inc. The China Smith Family and Friends Boxing and Fitness Center is currently located at the Police Athletic League of Manatee County facility, in Bradenton, FL with future plans to open a large modern training facility in the Sarasota area that would attract professional athletes and performers, local and international. A place that is unique to this area and could accommodate all types of sports entertainment training.
In 2013, the documentary China “The Dragon” Smith – The Second Chance was produced about China’s life, boxing career and quest to return to the boxing ring to capture a third World Championship title. The film will debut at the Sarasota Film Festival in 2014 and has been submitted to be presented at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and to be released in Cuba. With the success of his documentary, China was cast in a small role in the independent film, “Catching Junior Tate”, to be released in January 2015.
China has been cited as having the aggressiveness, instincts, and explosiveness as fighters such as Evander Holyfield or Mike Tyson. In the ring, China believes performance is the name of the game and it’s “better to give than it is to receive”. He believes it’s just a matter of time and patience. Pound for pound, China is the top, up-and-coming heavyweight fighter.
China Smith returned to the ring on July 26, 2013, after a six-year hiatus, to win with a 7th Round TKO against Ruben Williams. This win, coming off of a long break, has only made China hungrier for more success in the boxing ring. On June 13,2014 China claimed the WBF North American Heavyweight title in a 10 round victory against Mike Sheppard at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, FL. China has proven not only can he start a fight, but has the experience to finish off the fighter; he’s the type of boxer that can raise the level of excitement for his faithful fight fans. Buckle your seat belt because China is primed to become the next undisputed World Heavyweight Champion!