TGT Podcast: Boxing History 101 Scott LeDoux gets a shot at the Heavyweight Championship – The Grueling Truth The Grueling Truth Radio
Join Mike Goodpaster as he looks back to 1980 and how Scott LeDoux got a shot at the biggest prize in sports!
Scott LeDoux became notorious in the lead-up to his challenge of Larry Holmes for the WBC Heavyweight Championship by throwing an explosive fit on national television that led Howard Cosell to wrestle with his toupee at ringside. Following an unfortunate decision against Johnny Boudreaux, an angry LeDoux lashed out against what were now familiar forces of evil; yet again.
Johnny Boudreaux was interviewing with George Foreman and Cosell when Ledoux made an unexpectedly shocking move from behind the ring apron and unexpectedly struck a blow against Boudreaux from behind. “The Fighting Frenchman” leaped through the ropes to strike, setting off a melee witnessed by millions across America that far outshone any mundane battle that had just taken place. Cosell saw his hairpiece being pulled away from his scalp like something out of Looney Tunes–it almost looked as though someone had jammed their finger into an electrical outlet! That was in 1977 during Don King’s deceptively orchestrated U.S. Championships Tournament on ABC television, concocted with help from Paddy Flood and Al Braverman in his backroom as well as editorial quisling Johnny “Bought” Ort from The Ring magazine. LeDoux wasn’t included as a King fighter, but Boudreaux certainly was!
“The Man from Minnesota,” as LeDoux is often called, had long competed with Duane Bobick since their careers started to coincide. They met twice for fights, which both went to Bobick . Bobick struggled against boxers with punching power.
In 1977, LeDoux battled Olympic gold medalist Leon Spinks to an intensely contentious draw, though LeDoux supporters still wonder whether an unmotivated Ali would have given LeDoux an edge. Instead of giving up and retiring in 1979, LeDoux decided to go against veteran heavyweight Ron Lyle for another fight – only for an unfortunate split decision to end it all for him. LeDoux floored Lyle in the third and then delivered a right cross that sent the Denver boxer reeling into the ropes again. Starting late, Lyle staged a come-from-behind effort, and only one point separated them at the end. Lyle went unmarked, while LeDoux suffered cuts above his nose that left blood pouring onto the canvas; furthermore, his right eye almost closed off entirely and bleeding profusely from an accidental nose cut above it. Many observers believed LeDoux deserved victory; unfortunately, that wasn’t to be.
Three months later, LeDoux would get another opportunity at glory against Ken Norton. Following an initially slow start, Scott eventually took control of the fight’s latter stages and nearly stopped Norton; unfortunately, when the decision was announced as a draw, LeDoux came within striking distance of an impressive win.
Mike Weaver came in and quickly defeated LeDoux. At first, it appeared as though this could be LeDoux’s end; but instead, the Frenchman wouldn’t go down without a fight! LeDoux was scheduled to rematch Ron Lyle, but when Lyle pulled out, they decided instead for him to face Marty Monroe on national television, where LeDoux won comfortably and seemed poised for major title contention.
Why did he earn the shot at title contention? Well, it wasn’t about deserving it alone; rather it was much more complex.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
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