Jim Flood, who along with the late Terry Smith, won national amateur titles for Sacramento State during a 1956-1960 era when boxing was an NCAA sport on campuses, died Monday (Sept. 28) after an extended illness. He was 80. Former teammate Norm Tavalero said Flood, a two-time champion at 156 and 165 pounds in 1957-58, and Smith at 156 pounds in 1959, were local residents who became the pride of a nationally-ranked Hornets boxing program in California prior to brief pro careers.Before safety concerns led to the ban of boxing as a college-funded sport in 1961, Sacramento State, under coach Hank Elespuru, hosted the national championships. Also, citing a poll of coaches, Sports Illustrated noted in an article that Flood was credited with participating in the greatest bout in NCAA history when he lost to Washington State’s Jesse Klinkenberg trying for a third title in 1959.
After boxing, Flood worked nearly 30 years as an instructor and athletic director for the California Youth Authority in Sacramento. Smith, a District Attorney employee and veteran ring referee and judge, died in 2011.
Flood’s daughter, Krista Flood, said funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday (Nov. 2) at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery chapel, 7101 Verner Ave., Sacramento, Calif.