By his sportsmanship and gameness in tackling Johnny Curtin, the scrappy Jersey bantam, on very short notice, Midget Smith won for himself a crack at the bantamweight crown adorning the Irish thatch of Joe Lynch.
Smith had been signed to fight Curtin some time earlier. He suffered an injury to his hand, the fight was called off, and following Smith's recovery, he was signed to fight Lynch.
Then the New Jersey Boxing Commission suspended Smith, for failure to meet his obligations and mix with Curtin, who had been signed to fight Abe Friedman the night of December 18, 1922.
Friedman suffered an injury, and so as to be reinstated, Smith volunteered, on very short notice, to fill in.
His offer was accepted, and although he was not fully prepared and in best condition, Smith faced Curtin and took a rather severe beating in seven out of twelve rounds.
Tex Rickard, promoter at Madison Square Garden, who had signed Lynch and Smith, determined to give the blonde midget his chance, and on Friday evening, December 22, 1922, Joe Lynch, the bantam champion, met Midget Smith, his most persistant challenger.