Ex-heavyweight contender LeDoux has ALS

Jan. 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM

ANOKA, Minn., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Former heavyweight championship contender Scott LeDoux of Minnesota has been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"I'm living with ALS," LeDoux, 60, told the Star Tribune recenty, "but I'm not going to die from it. This is my real heavyweight championship fight." During his career, LeDoux fought heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Ken Norton and Leon Spinks, and sparred with Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has already weakened LeDoux, now a 60-year-old Anoka County commissioner and executive director of the Minnesota commission overseeing boxing and other martial sports. There is no cure for the neurodegenerative disease with doctors saying the average survival period is three years.

LeDoux said he "thought about suicide" after learning of his diagnosis last August but support from his wife Carol and antidepressant medication has him on a more even keel now, the Minneapolis newspaper reported Monday.

LeDoux said he recognizes there are no guarantees in life.

"It's been a great life," he said.

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