Heavyweight boxing contender LeDoux, the 'Fighting Frenchman'

Dennis Hevesi / New York Times News Service /


Published Aug 13, 2011 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

Scott LeDoux, the boxer known as the Fighting Frenchman, a contender for the heavyweight title in the mid-1970s and early ’80s, died Thursday at his home in Coon Rapids, Minn. He was 62.

The cause was Lou Gehrig’s disease, his wife, Carol, said.

At 6 feet 1 and weighing about 225 pounds, LeDoux — with his burly round shoulders, curly blond hair and chevron moustache — was known for his left hooks to the body.

“He was extremely tough, a plodding fighter,” the boxing historian Bert Sugar said in an interview Friday. LeDoux played football in college, Sugar said, adding, “He had the linebacker physicality and fought the same way.”

In his 10-year professional career, LeDoux had 33 wins, 22 of them knockouts; 13 losses; and four draws. He fought eight champions, most of them before they held the title and some afterward.

LeDoux’s championship fight against Larry Holmes in July 1980 was stopped when he took a near-blinding blow to his left eye. In his post-fight interview, he complained that the fight should not have been stopped. When reporters pointed out that the ring doctor had said he could have lost his vision, he replied, “What’s an eye when you’ve given your heart?”

The other title holders he faced were George Foreman, Gerry Coetzee, Frank Bruno, Mike Weaver, Greg Page, Leon Spinks and Ken Norton, whose bout with him ended in no decision.

“He drew with Norton in August 1979 in what was a controversial fight because Norton was down twice in the last round,” said Jake Wegner, president of the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame, which inducted LeDoux in 2010.

In October 1977, LeDoux’s bout with Spinks, an Olympic gold medalist and an up-and-coming championship contender, also ended in no decision. “That was just two fights before Spinks beat Muhammad Ali for the title in February of ’78,” Wegner said.

Among LeDoux’s other big-name opponents were Duane Bobick, to whom he lost twice; Bobick’s brother, Rodney, whom he beat in a unanimous decision; Ron Stander, another unanimous win; Dino Denis, to whom he lost; Ron Lyle, a loss in a controversial split decision; and 6-foot-10 Big Jim Beattie, whom he knocked out.