Daniel Victor "Boone" Kirkman (born February 6, 1945 in Vallejo, California)[3] is a former amateur and professional Heavyweight boxer.[4] He fought during the same era as George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Frazier, which is often credited as one of the greatest heavyweight eras of all time.[5] He spent his entire career based in Seattle, Washington.

Boone Kirkman
Statistics
Real nameDaniel Victor Kirkman
Nickname(s)"Boone" "Boom Boom"
Weight(s)210 lb (95 kg)
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm) (1.85 )
NationalityAmerican
Born (1945-02-06) February 6, 1945 (age 74)
Vallejo, California
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Wins36
Wins by KO25
Losses6
Draws0
No contests0


[1][2]

Early lifeEdit

Kirkman was born in Vallejo, California in 1945 to Oehm and Margarite Kirkman.[3][6] His father, a naval officer, was stationed there at the time. When his father was discharged from the Navy, the family moved back to Renton, Washington, where Kirkman's grandfather initially settled.[3][6]

From a young age, Kirkman's favorite activities were hunting, fishing, and hiking throughout the state of Washington with his father. He frequently stopped to view plant and animal life, earning him his lifelong nickname of "Boone".[3] Growing up in Renton, a working-class community, Kirkman joined a group of 20 teenagers called the "Buds" that regularly drank alcohol and smoked. Considering the rampant street crime in the area, this was only of moderate concern to Kirkman's father.[3] During this time, Kirkman became interested in boxing during regular sparring sessions with his older brother Steve.

Noting Kirkman's lack of interest in reading, a school friend recommended Rocky Graziano's autobiography Somebody Up There Likes Me, which was adapted into a film starring Paul Newman a year later.[3] Kirkman's fondness of both the book and the film catalyzed him to pursue boxing at a serious level.

Kirkman's first training sessions at age 14 involved traveling to a south Seattle gymnasium to work out from his school in Renton, Washington. The venue was suggested to him by former professional Joey Velez. Kirkman took a year-long hiatus from boxing due to injury, but returned to the gym and won several local Golden Gloves events afterward, slowly building a reputation.[7]

His popularity exploded in March 1965 when he won the AAU Heavyweight Boxing national title in Toledo, Ohio. Following the event, he was signed by Seattle-area fight manager Jack Hurley. Kirkman assumed co-ownership of his family's pub; The Melrose Tavern, shortly after his signing. Between bar tending shifts, Kirkman incorporated training, and spent most nights punching a speed bag, entertaining spectators.[7]

Professional careerEdit

Boone Kirkman's professional career lasted from 1966 to 1978. He finished with a record of 36—6 with a 59.52 knockout percentage. His peak ranking was seventh.[4]

His first match, held in Boise, yielded a win and knockout over Lou Phillips. Kirkman managed to go undefeated in his first eleven matches, including a win over Eddie Machen until stepping up in opposition in New York City he faced skilled Doug Jones in a featured fight held in Seattle. Jones caused a cut over Kirkman's left eye in the first round, but Kirkman managed to keep the veteran at bay with a deluge of heavy punches, eventually knocking Jones to the ropes in Round 7. Thinking he had won the fight, Kirkman prepared for the referee to raise his hand in victory. However the ring physician stopped the fight in due to worsening conditions in Kirkman's eye, sparking controversy.[3] Six weeks later, Kirkman would return the favor, winning their rematch, to Jones at the start of a winning streak.

Kirkman won his ensuing ten bouts, and Hurley scheduled a match between Kirkman and George Foreman at the Madison Square Garden in downtown New York.

Kirkman-Foreman (1970)Edit

The Foreman fight was scheduled for November 18, 1970. Foreman was the most heavily favored opponent Kirkman would ever face.

From the start, Kirkman was overmatched by Foreman's superior quickness and power. Foreman pummeled Kirkman with a combination of powerful punches, knocking him to the canvas three times in the first two rounds. The bout ended after just three minutes and forty seconds, when Kirkman failed to answer the bell, giving Foreman the win via technical knockout.[7]

Following the fight, Kirkman elected to opt-out of his contract with Hurley.[4]

Post-Foreman (1970-1974)Edit

Following the fight with Foreman, Kirkman won yet another 10 consecutive bouts. Strangely enough, only half were knockouts, whereas his knockout average was much higher. One of his more notable victories during this stretch came against Jack O'Halloran via points. He also encountered his second opponent ranked in the Ring Magazine Top 10 in Jimmy Ellis, whom he defeated by split decision.

Later struggles (1974)Edit

On April 9, 1974, Kirkman fought Memphis "Al" Jones in what Kirkman considered a "tune-up fight".[7] The fight was stopped abruptly when Kirkman, having knocked Jones down four times in the first two rounds, was knocked unconscious by a right hook from Jones.[7] This was Kirkman's first loss in over three and a half years.

Following the loss, Kirkman immediately scheduled several ranked opponents in an attempt to recover his sinking ranking. As a result, Kirkman experienced consecutive losses for the first time in his career after losing to Ken Norton, on his return to Seattle in June 1974. Norton was known as "the guy that broke Ali's jaw", doing it the previous year as a 7-1 underdog.[8] The Kirkman-Norton fight was stopped by the referee when Kirkman failed to answer the bell for the eighth round.[2]

In September, Kirkman fought Ron Lyle (who suffered a narrow defeat to Ali the following year for the WBA and WBC titles)[9], but lost again when the referee stopped the fight due to a cut on Kirkman's cheek.[2]

Professional boxing recordEdit

36 Wins (24 knockouts, 12 decisions), 6 Losses (3 knockouts, 2 decisions), 0 Draws[2]
Result Record Opponent Type Date Location
Win 36-6   Charles Atlas TKO Jan 26, 1978   Seattle, Washington
Win 35-6   Pedro Agosto PTS Oct 25, 1977   Seattle, Washington
Win 34-6   Ron Stander TKO Jul 19, 1977   Seattle, Washington
Win 33-6   Jose Roman UD Apr 26, 1977   Seattle, Washington
Loss 32-6   Randy Neumann UD Sep 5, 1975   Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 32-5   Ron Lyle TKO Sep 17, 1974   Seattle, Washington
Loss 32-4   Ken Norton RTD Jun 25, 1974   Seattle, Washington
Loss 32-3   Al Jones KO Apr 9, 1974   Dallas, Texas
Win 32-2   Larry Renaud TKO Mar 6, 1974   Reno, Nevada
Win 31-2   Jimmy Ellis SD Dec 12, 1973   Seattle, Washington
Win 30-2   George Johnson PTS Oct 23, 1973   Seattle, Washington
Win 29-2   Lou Bailey PTS Oct 4, 1973   Denver, Colorado
Win 28-2   Robie Harris KO Sep 20, 1973   Stockton, California
Win 27-2   Jack O'Halloran PTS Jul 12, 1973   Seattle, Washington
Win 26-2   Steve Carter PTS May 16, 1973   Stockton, California
Win 25-2   Bill Drover KO Apr 28, 1973   Seattle, Washington
Win 24-2   Dick Gosha TKO Mar 15, 1973   Seattle, Washington
Win 23-2   Fred Lewis TKO Jan 30, 1973   Seattle, Washington
Loss 22-2   George Foreman TKO Nov 18, 1970   Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 22-1   Amos Lincoln KO Jul 9, 1970   Seattle, Washington
Win 21-1   Bill McMurray TKO Apr 28, 1970   Seattle, Washington
Win 20-1   Ollie Wilson KO Mar 17, 1970   St. Paul, Minnesota
Win 19-1   Mike Bruce KO Jan 26, 1970   Seattle, Washington
Win 18-1   Bill McMurray UD Sep 9, 1968   Seattle, Washington
Win 17-1   Everett Copeland TKO Apr 25, 1968   Spokane, Washington
Win 16-1   Mike Lanum KO Feb 29, 1968   St. Louis, Missouri
Win 15-1   Archie Ray KO Dec 12, 1967   St. Louis, Missouri
Win 14-1   Wayne Heath KO Nov 17, 1967   Spokane, Washington
Win 13-1   Bill Nielson TKO Oct 3, 1967   Portland Oregon
Win 12-1   Doug Jones TKO Aug 10, 1967   Seattle, Washington
Loss 11-1   Doug Jones TKO Jun 29, 1967   Seattle, Washington
Win 11-0   Eddie Machen TKO May 26, 1967   Seattle, Washington
Win 10-0   Lars Olof Norling TKO Apr 22, 1967   Spokane, Washington
Win 9-0   Wayne Heath UD Mar 21, 1967   Portland, Oregon
Win 8-0   Leroy Birmingham TKO Feb 28, 1967   Spokane, Washington
Win 7-0   Bowie Adams KO Jan 24, 1967   Seattle, Washington
Win 6-0   Archie Ray PTS Oct 20, 1966   Boise, Idaho
Win 5-0   Archie Ray UD Sep 22, 1966   Boise, Idaho
Win 4-0   Al Carter TKO Jun 23, 1966   Los Angeles, California
Win 3-0   John Collins TKO Jun 2, 1966   Boise, Idaho
Win 2-0   Gail Wright KO May 5, 1966   Boise, Idaho
Win 1-0   Lou Phillips KO Apr 1, 1966   Boise, Idaho

Post careerEdit

After retiring from boxing at age 33, Kirkman became a Boeing delivery truck driver. He retired from Boeing in 2010.[citation needed]

Kirkman lives near Renton with his wife Teese, a retired nurse. The two have been married since 1988. He has two children from a previous marriage, Erik and Nina. He also has two grandchildren.

In his spare time, Kirkman enjoys hiking and mountaineering. He has scaled four of the five highest peaks in Washington: Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Baker.[7]

Relationship with Jack HurleyEdit

Kirkman and Jack Hurley were often at odds during Hurley's tenure. In interviews, Kirkman has expressed several criticisms of his former manager, including uncooperative behavior, leaving his boxers unprepared for fights, and a failure to secure a fight with Muhammad Ali during his prime (when Kirkman was the seventh-ranked boxer in the world).[3][4] Additionally, Hurley was not heavily involved during the training process, which contributed to poor scheduling.

Two other former boxers who were signed to Hurley, Harry Matthews and Pete Radarmacher, experienced similar frustrations, often finding themselves overmatched when up against highly-ranked opponents.[10]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Boone Kirkman boxing stats". Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Boone Kirkman - Boxer". Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Austin Killeen (June 28, 2008). "Boone Kirkman: FISTIC FRANCHISE OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST". Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d Shawn M. Murphy (August 23, 2008). "Where Are They Now? Boone Kirkman". Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Bill Ross (January 31, 2006). "George Chuvalo - The Right Place at The Wrong Time Part 1". Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Dan (Boone) Kirkman, boxer, possibly in Renton, 1968". University of Washington (from Renton Historical Museum). Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Raley, Dan (June 22, 2005). "Where Are They Now: Boone 'Boom Boom' Kirkman, boxer". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  8. ^ "Interview with Ken Norton: Norton Speaks On Fights With Ali". ESPN Radio 1490. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  9. ^ "Ron Lyle - Boxer". Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  10. ^ Charles Burgess. "Harry "Kid" Matthews". Highline History. Retrieved April 13, 2011.

External linksEdit