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Digital Subscriptions > Boxing News > 07-May > THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Elliot Worsell tells the story of the Smith twins, Ernie and Billy, who took their own lives after having exactly the same amount of fights
Photo: ACTION IMAGES/LEE SMITH

ERNIE SMITH:

161 fights

13 wins

142 losses

5 draws

1 No Contest

Photo: ACTION IMAGES/CARL RECINE

BILLY SMITH:

161 ights

13 wins

145 losses

2 draws

1 No Contest

+SMITH+ BROTHERS

BN INVESTIGATES BOXING

BEFORE ending his life, Ernie Smith had 161 professional fights.

Customarily, he wasn’t one for getting stopped inside the distance, but he was stopped, seemingly for his own good, from reaching 162.

In the 11 years he spent as a pro, he was chewed up by prospects, swished around the mouths of bloodthirsty spectators, and then, in 2009, spat on the floor like gristle. His pain was celebrated, his record mocked, but it was fair game, for Ernie, a journeyman, was an expert in suffering. It’s why he was sought-after. It’s why he was urged to stop.

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