“The Fighting Frenchman” Scott LeDoux, 61, will be retiring from his position as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission due to his continuing battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, according to long-time friend and MCSC commissioner Bob Dolan.
The retired heavyweight boxer, who was instrumental in the return of the commission that oversees both boxing and mixed martial arts events in Minnesota, was first diagnosed with ALS in August of 2008.
“It is with great sadness that Scott announces that he’s going to have to resign from the commission due to his failing health,” Dolan said. “It is a great loss to the mixed martial arts community.”
Over the past year his involvement with the commission has diminished as his health worsened, while most of his duties have fallen on MCSC office administrator Matt Schowalter.
LeDoux will be stepping down in mid-May according to Dolan.
The commission established a three person panel at tonight’s meeting, made up of Bob Stein, Craig Gallop and Pat Fallon. The panel will interview potential candidates and eventually make a recommendation to the full commission on who should replace LeDoux. The commission will then make their recommendation to the Governor on who they think should be appointed. No timeline was given on when the process will be completed.
Gov. Jesse Ventura abolished the Minnesota Boxing Commission in 2001 as a cost cutting measure. LeDoux lobbied Governor Tim Pawlenty for its reinstatement, which took place in 2006. In 2008 the commission’s authority was expanded to regulate mixed martial arts events like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Since its rebirth, the commission has overseen a handful of nationally televised boxing events and brought UFC to the Target Center in August of 2008. The UFC event featuring Brock Lesnar had a sell out crowd of 15,082 people and set an all-time box office record for the Target Center of $2.25 million.
LeDoux faced many of the top heavyweights of his time in the ring, including Ken Norton, Leon Spinks, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. His 1974 fight with Duane Bobick, which drew 13,789 to the Met Center, still holds the attendance record for a boxing match held in Minnesota.
“Scott’s greatest legacy is not what he did for boxing per se, but what he did for those who needed help. His charity work is legendary in this state. His desire to make life better for those who have difficulty in life is what’s kept him going all these years.”
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