Born: January 7, 1949
Known to all as, “The Fighting Frenchman”, Scott LeDoux was a perennial Heavyweight contender throughout the decade of the 1970′s and early 80′s, facing many of the top names of the sport and showcasing his talents on several televised cards. Standing 6′ 1″, with burly round shoulders, curly blonde hair, and his trademark chevron moustache, Scott LeDoux was a colorful character in the sport both locally, and internationally. Whether calling arch-rival, Duane Bobick, a “prima donna” before their 1976 clash of the titans, or kicking off Howard Cosell’s hairpiece on national television after his controversial loss to Johnny Boudreaux, LeDoux was a one-man publicity machine that people came to love. His looping overhand right got through more than a few men’s best guard, including Ken Norton’s. But it was his left hook to the body that he was most known for-just ask Rodney Bobick, who suffered several broken ribs and plenty of lumps and dents during his 10 round, 1975 slugfest with LeDoux at the old Met Center in Bloomington. LeDoux entered that fight as the underdog who overcame the odds, much as he did in several of his big fights throughout his long and colorful career.
Like so many of our past fistic greats, Scott LeDoux began his fighting career in the amateur ranks of the Golden Gloves program, where he captured 2 Upper Midwest Heavyweight crowns, the first in 1968, and the second in 1973. He turned professional the following year under the training and management of “Papa” Joe Daszkiewicz, a long-time boxing fixture on the Minneapolis scene. Daszkiewicz and LeDoux forged a close bond and were together for Scott’s entire career, something few fighters can claim. Together they took on the richly talented Heavyweight landscape that was the 1970′s, and traveled to great heights, which included a world ranking, a world title shot, and several television slots to boot.
Hailing from the Crosby-Ironton area in northern Minnesota, LeDoux grew up hard, in an area of hardened mining men. This mentality and mental toughness stayed with him throughout his entire career and served him well in many of his life or death battles in the Heavyweight trenches. He was a perfect 12-0 with 9 KO’s going into his Main Event fight with Roy “Cookie” Wallace in March of 1975, before a badly cut eye prompted referee Denny Nelson to stop the fight in the 2nd round. The always game LeDoux wanted the fight to continue, but his cut said otherwise. In his very next fight, he called out the much more experienced Rodney Bobick. Rodney was the heavy betting favorite, and sporting a fancy record of 33-4. This prompted all the sportswriters of the day to question LeDoux and Daszkiewicz’s thinking, as with just 13 fights under his belt, Scott was grossly inexperienced to Rodney, still LeDoux insisted that he had beaten Rodney in the amateurs and knew that he could do it again. He did, winning almost every round, and breaking Rodney’s ribs in the process of what was billed as a grudge fight. The fight set new state records at the time for both gate and attendance.
LeDoux followed this big victory up, with other nice wins over Terry Daniels, Scrap Iron Johnson, Ron Stander, and Larry Middleton among others, before facing the 1971 Pan Am Games Gold medalist, and 1972 Olympian, and arch-rival, Duane Bobick. Not only was the fight personal for each man, but it also divided the state like the Berlin Wall as to whom one backed…Bobick or LeDoux. The fight was such an attraction that NBC came to town to film it, and governors and senators from neighboring states made the trip to attend it. In all, it broke the state records for both gate and attendance with $113,725 (approximately $436,000 adjusted for inflation per 2010) and 13,789 people, but it was Bobick who won a 10 round unanimous decision and the state Heavyweight title.
Scott later traveled out east, losing to Dino Dennis and George Foreman, and the controversial one to Johnny Boudreaux, before getting his groove back and posting two impressive wins over Pedro Soto and Tom Prater, before challenging Duane Bobick to a rematch. This return bout was yet another highly billed event, drawing just over 9,000 people. This time though, Scott would suffer a TKO loss, as Duane’s performance was even stronger the second time around, as he dropped Scott twice on route to the stoppage. Despite the losses to rival Bobick, LeDoux is proud of the fights with Duane, saying, “There was a lot of tension between us back then. No doubt about that. He said some things, and I said some things, but hey…we really packed them in to watch those two fights, and in the end, Duane was just too busy for me. He never quit throwing punches or gave me any room to maneuver in those fights. He was an Olympian, a top-10 Heavyweight in those days, and a great fighter. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m very proud to have been a part of those fights.”
After the second loss to Bobick, Scott went onto face another Olympian; this time it was 1976 Gold metal winner, and future Heavyweight champion, Leon Spinks. Spinks controlled the first half of the fight with his busy style, but then Scott dominated the second half as his early body work began to pay dividends on the young Spinks, who had never had to go longer than 5 rounds before. Scott pushed him hard and many thought LeDoux had pulled out the victory, in what ended up being one of 1978′s best action fights of the year, but in end it was ruled a Draw. LeDoux then had another Draw with up and comer, Bill Sharkey, followed by 3 consecutive KO wins before facing fellow Minnesota Heavyweight, “Big” Jim Beattie in ended up being yet another grudge fight for Scott. Beattie stood 6′ 9″ tall and was on the comeback trail and was 10-1 with 8 KO’s and 1 ND since resuming his career. More than a few people picked Beattie to pull out the win, but it was not to be, as LeDoux tore into him from the opening bell, stopping him in the 3rd round before 6,115 screaming fans.
Just as Scott seemed to be on track for a title shot, he lost a controversial split-decision to power-punching Ron Lyle. He then faced Ken Norton at the Met Center and came away with a Draw that was yet another controversial decision, as he had Norton down twice and nearly out in the final round. This earned Scott a fight with Mike Weaver for the USBA title, though Scott came up short, dropping the decision. But a unanimous decision whipping of the slick and undefeated Marty Monroe in March of 1980, earned Scott a shot at the world title held by the immortal, Larry Holmes. Holmes utilized his superior reach and boxing skills to take all the rounds from the Fighting Frenchman, before the fatal 7th round in which LeDoux caved to a Holmes barrage and the fight was stopped. As always, the game LeDoux had wanted to continue, but referee Davey Pearl disagreed. The fight drew 6,491 fans, and produced a record gate of $253,000 ($670,000 adjusted for inflation per 2010); a record that still stands today.
Scott later fought memorable bouts with future world champions Greg Page, Gerry Coetzee, and Frank Bruno before retiring in 1983 with a record of 33-13-4 with a total of 50 fights. In all, “The Fighting Frenchman” faced 8 world champions in his long career, and won over the hearts of Minnesota fight fans in the process.