ALL CHS grads!
Enclyclopedia of Oklahoma History
and Culture Link:
"It was a misdemeanor to engage in a prizefight in Oklahoma prior to July 17, 1959. On that date Gov. J. Howard Edmondson signed a bill that legalized the sport of boxing in the Sooner State. The Oklahoma Territorial Legislature had declared in 1890 that pugilism was "a crime against the public peace" and rejected a bill to legalize boxing in 1895. Although Gov. Lee Cruce used the Oklahoma National Guard to enforce the state's prizefighting law, Oklahoma's anti-boxing legislation was unpopular and ignored.
Professional championship boxing debuted in Oklahoma on June 22, 1909, when over three thousand spectators gathered at Oklahoma City to watch Denmark's Battling Nelson defend his world lightweight championship. It was sixty-two years before Oklahoma's next title fight when Cushing native Brian Kelly Burden unsuccessfully challenged Bob Foster for the world light heavyweight championship at Oklahoma City's State Fair Arena on December 16, 1971. Controlling the bout was Oklahoman Earle Keel, who that night became the first American Indian to referee a world title fight."
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compliments of Ross Funkhouser CHS 1958
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