Old Missoula

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1966 - Roger Rouse - Bill Kelly - Billy Dugal McFarland - Deane Jones

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Roger Rouse - Bill Kelly - Billy Dugal McFarland - Deane Jones

Quotes below are from ‘Frankly speaking’ column by Frank Quinn, September 11, 1966, The Montana Standard-Post

The Butte scribe, Frank Quinn, attended a Missoula boxing event in 1966 that featured Roger Rouse and Canadian boxer Leslie Borden, who lost to Rouse in the 12th round in that bout. Rouse was one of the best fighters to have ever boxed from Montana, appearing in the Olympics in 1956, and challenging for world titles 3 different times. A fabulous athlete, he was also an all-state running back for Anaconda and attended the University of Montana on a football scholarship, but was sidelined by injury his first season.

Quinn also commented on some of the people he met while in Missoula, several of whom had a long history with Missoula sports. The event was apparently sponsored by the Missoula Sports Association, likely headed by Elmer Boyce.

Quinn wrote the following:

“Met some interesting people at ringside: Included was Billy Dugal McFarland, 36 years in the Oxford, who fought amateur in Butte in ’26, winning a state title. That was the year the late “Wild Bill” Kelly, Grizzly grid ace lost to Les Kennedy in the old Butte High gym . . .[also] the grand old man of Montana sportswriting, Ray Rocene of the Missoulian and Deane Jones, Missoulian, a good leatherpusher in his day, equally as good as a manager and an efficient boxing inspector for the state commission."


The three Missoula boxers Quinn referred to, McFarland, Kelly and Jones have each secured their special places in Missoula’s history, each for different reasons. McFarland had the most success in the boxing field, while both he and Deane Jones (long a Missoulian editor) maintained their interest in the sport throughout their lives, as instructors, coaches and officials.

The reference to Bill Kelly and his loss to Les Kennedy of Butte has some interesting history also. Kelly boxed locally in Missoula at several venues, including at the University of Montana. Les Kennedy, of Butte, went on to box professionally as a heavyweight. His career began with 23 wins and only 3 losses, however, he finished with a record of 46-32-2, according to Norman Marcus who wrote an article about him. Kennedy fought several of the best heavyweights, including Dempsey, Baer, Carnera, Braddock and Mickey Walker.

Below is a link to the Les Kennedy article by Norman Marcus:

http://www.boxing.com/les_kennedy_i_coulda_been_a_contender.html

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2016 01:35