Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People around the country are mourning the loss of former heavyweight boxer Scott LeDoux.
The Minnesota native lost his three year battle with ALS Thursday afternoon. For more than 20 years, Karla Blomberg has watched her friend LeDoux’s battles from the boxing ring, to politics, to what would become his final fight.
“He fought for those he loved. He fought for things he believed,” said Blomberg, a longtime friend of LeDoux.
When news came that the former heavyweight contender had lost his fight with ALS, she could only think of how he defied the odds. He began his professional boxing career in 1974 and had a career record of 33-13-4 with 21 knockouts. He had his last bout in 1983.
“He was incredibly strong and all that muscle mass, no question he lived as long as he did,” said Blomberg.
Most will remember him as a tough opponent in the boxing ring, but Blomberg will remember the man who never forgot her birthday.
“As a friend, you couldn’t have a better friend,” she said.
As his illness progressed, Blomberg realized many others felt the same way. She set up an email network where friends and fans could leave get well messages. The network is so large, she can’t keep count.
“It didn’t surprise me that people wanted to reach out and let them know he was their hero,” said Blomberg.
The web site has now become a place for those who loved him to share their grief and honor a man who was fighter until the very end.
“He will be missed,” she said.
The family released a statement Thursday that said, “Scott fought his final fight. He passed away peacefully at him this afternoon. Scott’s courageous fight is testimony to his faith and love of family and friends. No one can imagine the sadness we all feel, but now that battle is over. He is at peace. Please pray for his family.”
Blomberg also said LeDoux’s brain and spinal cord have been donated for ALS research. LeDoux was 62 years old.