He will always be remembered as ” Buster’s Dad” but Billy Douglas was quite a fighter in his own right. Billy was born in 1940 and turned pro in 1967 just three days before his 27th birthday. There was no fanfare for this native of Columbus, Ohio. He started at the bottom and fought his way into the rankings. In 1969 he took out the talented Luis Vinales in one round. He would then be stopped himself by Pedro Miranda.
Douglas began to make some serious noise in 1970. He stopped former Olympian Wilbert McClure. He then outscored tough Willie Warren, drew with Don Fullmer and won a decision over Tom “The Bomb” Bethea. Billy suffered a couple of setbacks in 1971 dropping ten round dukes to the slick Bunny Sterling and the always capable Jose Gonzalez. Douglas got right back on track in 1972 with kayos over Billy Lloyd, Carlos Marks, Al Quinney and Marion Conner. Billy’s nickname wasn’t “Dynamite” for no reason.
Douglas continued his surge into 1973 stopping the respected Nate Collins. Billy was then matched with Philadelphia’s Bennie Briscoe for the NABF middleweight title. At the time Briscoe was one of the best middleweights in the world and “Bad” Bennie halted Bill in round eight. Later that year Douglas lost a decision in South Africa to Elijah Makathini. In 1974 Douglas lost to another top notch Philly fighter being on the short end of a points verdict to Willie “The Worm” Monroe. Then in a crazy promotional stunt Douglas was matched with Danny Brewer in a fight that was advertised as being for the world’s junior light heavyweight title. The weight limit was 167. Brewer exited in round two
Douglas now began to campaign as a light heavyweight. In 1976 he won a disputed, razor close decision over Pedro Soto. He then lost a rematch to Bethea. Bill was halted by Lonnie Bennett but then he knocked out Angel Oquendo. Douglas was awarded the chance of a lifetime when he got a non title fight with WBA light heavyweight king Victor Galindez. Bill went the distance but the rugged champion won on points. In 1977 Douglas met Matthew Saad Muhammad ( Matt Franklin ) in Philadelphia for the NABF light heavyweight title. In a true “Philly War”, Saad got off the canvas to stop Bill in round six. Douglas then returned to Philadelphia but was defeated inside the distance by Marvin Johnson. Bill was quite popular in Philly. The Johnson fight was his tenth appearance there.
In 1979 Douglas lost a decision to rising prospect Pablo Ramos. In 1980 Bill was finished as a legitimate contender when he lost to Jerry “The Bull” Martin. Bill had one more kayo victory and then packed it in. In 58 professional bouts against some of the toughest fighters in the world Douglas posted a fine 41-16-1 record. He scored 31 knockouts. He met three world champions and five others who challenged for the title. Bill Douglas should be remembered for much more then just being Buster’s dad.