Les Sellnow was surprised, but not shocked to learn former heavyweight boxer and Crosby-Ironton High School graduate Scott LeDoux died Thursday of complications from his battle against ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Sellnow said he spent a night with LeDoux and his wife two years ago reminiscing. The former Brainerd Dispatch editor and Golden Gloves boxing coach could tell then things were bad for his former pupil.
“(Scott) came through here, about two years ago now and we got together for an evening and revisited some of the old episodes that we could remember,” Sellnow said from his home in Montana Thursday night. “It was obvious then that his health was deteriorating quite bad. He had a friend and his wife along with and he needed the other guy’s help getting out of the car and into a wheel chair.
“This news isn’t shocking, but it does come at a surprise because you’re not right there. I haven’t seen him since that evening two years ago, but I always kept track of how he was doing.”
LeDoux of Coon Rapids was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease two years ago.
At the time of his diagnosis, LeDoux who was known as the “Fighting Frenchman,” was the Anoka County commissioner. He represented parts of Coon Rapids, Andover and Fridley. LeDoux stepped down in May of 2010 and his second wife, Carol, ran for the open seat and won.
It was one of many wins associated with LeDoux, who owned a 33-13-4 professional record. That included matches with Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, Mohammed Ali and George Forman.
He fought for the heavyweight championship in 1978 against Mike Weaver and in 1980 against Holmes.
Sellnow knew LeDoux long before those matches.
“I first got acquainted with Scott through Golden Gloves and he was already a heavyweight back them,” said Sellnow. “He was good for the program. He was a good, clean living young man. He entered into boxing with a great deal of enthusiasm. He wasn’t all that skilled of a boxer. He had a left jab that sometimes found its mark and a roundhouse right that if he connected it was lights out for his opponent. He didn’t always connect though.
“One of the more memorable fights was against a kid from Rochester in the Golden Gloves tournament in
Minneapolis. The guy was outboxing Scott and outpointing him. In the third round Scott was desperate and I remember sitting there watching as he unleashed this roundhouse right just as the other guy was stepping forward and that was the end of the fight. Scott was well behind on points, but he ended it right there.”
LeDoux graduated from C-I in 1966. He played football at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He lettered three years for the Bulldogs, including in 1968 when he started on the offensive and defensive lines.
As an amateur boxer, he won the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves heavyweight title. After retiring from the ring in 1983, LeDoux served on the Minnesota Boxing Commission for 18 years. He was the lead ring analyst for ESPN2 Tuesday Night Fights and Friday Night Fights.
“As a Golden Gloves boxer and as a professional he set the kind of image that we wanted in the Golden Gloves boxing program,” said Sellnow. “He was good with young kids and set a fine example.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856. This story includes information from the Pioneer Press.