As a student at West Chester College in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Clark was doing double duty winning the National Golden Gloves in 1977 between two National Golden Gloves and future world champions. Before him was Michael Dokes in 1976 and after him Greg Page in 1978.
In July of 1975 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Clark lost in the AAU finals to Dokes and in a dual meet. In November in New York in a USA-URSS Dual Meet he stopped Russian champion Igor Vysotsky who in 1973 had twice defeated future three-time heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist Cuban Teofilo Stevenson. In 1972, 1976 and 1980 Stevenson won Gold Medals.
In 1977 Clark would lose and then win over Vysotsky. Before the year was out he defeated two future world champions in Tony Tubbs and Page for the National Golden Gloves title in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In 1978 Clark would lose in three straight bouts with Stevenson. First fight was in Charlotte, North Carolina, on February 10th by a 3-0 score. Two days later in LaHabana, Cuba, Clark lost again to Stevenson this time 2-1. In October he lost again to Stevenson in the first round at Madison Square Garden. Clark would have his final amateur bout stopping French born Ireland’s Mel Christle in the first round. Clark’s recorded record was 60-27.
In 1980 when President Carter decided not to send a team to the 1980 Moscow Olympics Clark decided to turn professional on January 15, 1981 stopping hometown fighter Steve Sandborne also turning pro in at 1:37 of the first round at the Conrad Hotel, in Chicago, Illinois.
Clark would win all seven fights in 1981 in Atlantic City, Coatesville High School, Madison Square Garden, Philadelphia, and back in Atlantic City. He scored six stoppages before winning a decision.
In 1982 and 1983 Clark would go 6-0 with all stoppages in New Jersey, four of which were in Atlantic City. In April of 1984 in his first major test at New York’s Felt Forum he won a split decision over 1976 Olympic Bronze Medalist southpaw Clarence Hill, 17-2-1, of Bermuda. Another two stoppages would follow that year first in Atlanta, Georgia and his ninth straight win in New Jersey, the last at Harrah’s Trump Plaza Hotel. All in all he was 9-0 in New Jersey.
In March of 1985 at the CYC in Scranton, Pennsylvania Clark would lose his only bout as a professional after going 16-0 to Baltimore’s Reggie Gross, 15-3 with 11 stoppages in the ninth round. It would be twenty-one months before his return to the ring scoring a stoppage in San Juan’s Caribe Hotel in Puerto Rico. Then he was inactive almost another two years ending his career in a no contest in second rounds against Kimmuel “K.O.” Odum, 9-2, at the Field House in Struthers, Ohio. His final record was 18-1 with 16 stoppages.
“I worked with him (Clark) almost three years and he was easy to work with. Him mannerism was really good. We had a falling out when I didn’t want him to fight Reggie Gross in Scranton, PA, because his mother had just passed. He never trained due to this and wasn’t ready. So, Al Braverman worked with him for that fight. In March 1980 he was to go to near Warsaw, Poland for a meet with team USA but missed the plane that went down killing twenty-two people. He was never the same after that,” said Claude Mangum.
“I saw Jimmy Clark win a great fight over Marty Capasso at the Upper Darby Fire House for the local amateur title,” said Jeff Jowett (writer for Seconds Out).