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Joe "The Boss" Hipp (born December 7, 1962) is a retired professional Native American heavyweight boxer. A member of the Blackfeet Tribe, he became the first Native American to challenge for a world heavyweight boxing championship on August 19, 1995 when he fought WBA champion Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. In May 2009, he was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.

Joe Hipp
Born (1962-12-07) December 7, 1962 (age 56)
Browning, Montana
Other namesThe Boss
ResidenceYakima, Washington
NationalityBlackfeet Nation
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight105.0 kg (231.5 lb; 16.53 st)
Reach73.0 in (185 cm)
Years active18 (1987-2005)
Professional boxing record
By knockout29
By knockout6
Amateur boxing record
Other information
OccupationAll Nations Foundation, founder
Notable school(s)A.C. Davis High School
Boxing record from BoxRec
last updated on: October 17, 2009


Professional careerEdit

Hipp began his professional career with a 4-round decision over Steve Cortez at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene, Oregon on August 29, 1987. For his second fight 2 months later, Hipp travelled to Carson City, Nevada to face Utah native Veti Katoa. The fight was stopped by the ringside doctor after Hipp suffered a broken jaw in the third round.

Hipp rebounded successfully from the defeat by notching 3 consecutive first-round knockout victories before facing Katoa in a rematch at Gardnerville Park in Gardnerville, Nevada on July 2, 1988. Hipp dominated the action on the inside with his hard-hitting, banging style to take a 5-round unanimous decision.

Hipp then took a year-long hiatus from boxing before returning to face Andrew Matthews on the 4th of July of the following year. Outweighing his opponent by over 30 pounds, Hipp punched his way to a first-round stoppage. Exactly two weeks later, Hipp scored a unanimous four-round decision over up-and-coming contender Cleveland Woods in what Ring Magazine referred to as "...the upset of the night" on the card for that evening.

Hipp began another winning streak (including a brutal third-round knockout of Katoa in their third and final meeting) before facing Bert Cooper in Cooper's final bout prior to his fight with Evander Holyfield for the world title one month later. Cooper outslugged Hipp en route to a fifth-round stoppage by referee Joe Cortez.

Hipp again rebounded by winning 3 consecutive contests before facing Tommy Morrison on June 27, 1992 in Reno, Nevada. In a slugfest that saw Morrison break his jaw and one of his hands, Hipp lost by a 9th-round TKO, resulting in broken cheekbones for Hipp. After recovering from his injuries, Hipp fought once in 1993, earning a victory with a ten-round decision in a rematch with Kevin Ford.

Hipp began 1994 with a victory over Alex Garcia for the fringe NABF heavyweight title and finished the year with two more wins. He began the following year by continuing his winning ways with a third-round TKO of journeyman Phillip Brown. This win would lead to Hipp's most important bout, the fight that would land him in the history books as the first Native American to challenge for one of the four recognized heavyweight title belts.

WBA Heavyweight Title BoutEdit

On August 19, 1995 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on the undercard of the infamous Mike Tyson v. Peter McNeeley fight (Tyson's first fight after being released from prison for rape), Hipp squared off against Bruce Seldon for the WBA Heavyweight championship. With Seldon well ahead on all scorecards, the fight was stopped in the tenth round by referee Richard Steele after Hipp experienced massive swelling and bleeding on his face.

Career DeclineEdit

Hipp's career was rather undistinguished afterwards. He fired off a series of victories over third-rate competition before being knocked out by hard-hitting journeyman Ross Puritty on June 15, 1997. Hipp had secured a comfortable lead on the scorecards before Puritty came out swinging for the tenth and final round of their bout. An exhausted Hipp was no match for Puritty in the last round and he suffered his first KO defeat. Hipp racked up three consecutive victories against nondescript competition after the Puritty fight, but then blew out his knee against Jeff Pegues in a fifth-round TKO loss on December 9, 1999.

He attempted a comeback four years later, but that came to an abrupt end in his second fight as he dropped a six-round decision to journeyman Billy Zumbrun on November 14, 2003.

Hipp, referred to as "The Boss" by his loyal fans, returned from another extended layoff to win a six-round decision over Ted Reiter on August 13, 2005, in what was his final fight.

Professional boxing recordEdit

43 Wins (29 knockouts, 14 decisions), 7 Losses (6 knockouts, 1 decision)[1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 43-7   Ted Reiter MD 6 13/08/2005   Lewiston, Idaho, United States 57-56, 57-56, 58-58.
Loss 42-7   Billy "The Kid" Zumbrun MD 6 14/11/2003   Seattle, Washington, United States 56-58, 56-58, 57-57.
Win 42-6   Chris Brown KO 2 22/08/2003   Spokane, Washington, United States Brown knocked out at 2:37 of the second round.
Loss 41-6   Jeff Pegues TKO 5 09/12/1999   Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States Hipp suffered a severe knee injury during the fight causing a stoppage.
Win 41-5   Everett Martin UD 12 25/06/1999   Saint Charles, Missouri, United States WBF World Heavyweight Title.
Win 40-5   Jack Basting UD 10 27/03/1998   Tacoma, Washington, United States
Win 39-5   George McFall TKO 2 11/02/1998   Yakima, Washington, United States
Loss 38-5   Ross "The Boss" Puritty KO 10 15/06/1997   Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Win 38-4   Marcus "Big Tuna" Rhode TKO 1 29/03/1997   Bellevue, Washington, United States
Win 37-4   Lorenzo Boyd KO 1 10/03/1997   Kansas City, Missouri, United States Boyd knocked out at 2:45 of the first round.
Win 36-4   Will "Hammer" Hinton TKO 1 13/12/1996   Tacoma, Washington, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:30 of the first round.
Win 35-4   Troy Roberts KO 2 05/10/1996   Yakima, Washington, United States
Win 34-4   Fred Houpe TKO 1 23/09/1996   Bellevue, Washington, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:55 of the first round.
Win 33-4   Bill Corrigan KO 1 04/08/1996   Sequim, Washington, United States Corrigan knocked out at 1:39 of the first round.
Win 32-4   Anthony "A.J." Moore TKO 5 17/07/1996   Worley, Idaho, United States Western States Heavyweight Title.
Win 31-4   Martin Jacques TKO 1 15/12/1995   Yakima, Washington, United States
Loss 30-4   Bruce "The Atlantic City Express" Seldon TKO 10 19/08/1995   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States WBA World Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:47 of the tenth round.
Win 30-3   Philipp Brown TKO 3 17/04/1995   Moline, Illinois, United States
Win 29-3   Rodolfo Marin SD 10 01/11/1994   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 98-92, 96-94, 94-96.
Win 28-3   Jose "El Nino" Ribalta KO 2 10/05/1994   Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States NABF Heavyweight Title. Ribalta knocked out at 1:53 of the second round.
Win 27-3   Alex Garcia UD 12 01/03/1994   Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States NABF Heavyweight Title. 118-110, 120-108, 119-109.
Win 26-3   Keith "Sir Jabalot" McMurray KO 4 14/01/1994   Saint George, Utah, United States McMurray knocked out at 2:52 of the fourth round.
Win 25-3   Kevin Ford UD 10 03/04/1993   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 99-91, 99-92, 98-93.
Loss 24-3   Tommy "The Duke" Morrison TKO 9 27/06/1992   Reno, Nevada, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:47 of the ninth round. Hipp suffered a broken cheekbone and Morrison suffered a broken hand and jaw.
Win 24-2   Jesse Shelby UD 10 28/02/1992   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 99-90, 97-93, 98-92.
Win 23-2   Kevin Ford UD 8 01/02/1992   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 80-72, 79-72, 80-71.
Win 22-2   John "Big Red" Morton KO 3 05/01/1992   Reno, Nevada, United States Morton knocked out at 3:00 of the third round.
Loss 21-2   "Smokin" Bert Cooper TKO 5 18/10/1991   Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:01 of the fifth round.
Win 21-1   Cleveland Woods KO 1 15/07/1991   Irvine, California, United States Woods knocked out at 0:27 of the first round.
Win 20-1   Bill Duncan KO 1 02/07/1991   Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 19-1   David "Hand Grenade" Bey TKO 7 26/02/1991   Birmingham, Alabama, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:07 of the seventh round.
Win 18-1   Mike Cohen KO 4 14/01/1991   Fife, Washington, United States World Boxing Foundation (WBFo) Intercontinental Heavyweight Title. Cohen knocked out at 2:30 of the fourth round.
Win 17-1   Richard Cade KO 2 16/11/1990   Fort Lewis, Washington, United States Cade knocked out at 0:52 of the second round.
Win 16-1   Harry Terrell KO 2 11/09/1990   Fife, Washington, United States Terrell knocked out at 2:14 of the second round.
Win 15-1   Gerardo "Rocky" Valero KO 1 26/07/1990   Yakima, Washington, United States Valero knocked out at 3:04 of the first round.
Win 14-1   Tracy Thomas UD 10 12/06/1990   Yakima, Washington, United States 100-88, 100-87, 99-89.
Win 13-1   Danny Wofford PTS 6 24/04/1990   Reseda, California, United States
Win 12-1   Veti Katoa KO 3 16/03/1990   Butte, Montana, United States
Win 11-1   Dan "The Boss" Ross KO 1 12/02/1990   Butte, Montana, United States Ross knocked out at 2:09 of the first round.
Win 10-1   Marvin Camel TKO 6 02/12/1989   Lacey, Washington, United States
Win 9-1   "Irish" Sean McClain TKO 4 26/09/1989   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8-1   Shaun Ayers UD 10 26/08/1989   Eugene, Oregon, United States 96-94, 98-93, 96-95.
Win 7-1   Cleveland Woods UD 4 18/07/1989   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6-1   Andrew Matthews TKO 1 04/07/1989   Gardnerville, Nevada, United States Referee stopped the bout at 0:34 of the first round.
Win 5-1   Veti Kotoa UD 5 02/07/1988   Gardnerville, Nevada, United States
Win 4-1   Steve Cortez TKO 1 18/06/1988   Vancouver, Washington, United States
Win 3-1   Paul Bradshaw TKO 1 04/06/1988   Albany, Oregon, United States
Win 2-1   John Elkins TKO 1 02/06/1988   Portland, Oregon, United States
Loss 1-1   Veti Katoa TKO 3 24/10/1987   Carson City, Nevada, United States Doctor stopped the bout due to a broken jaw.
Win 1-0   Steve Cortez UD 4 29/08/1987   Eugene, Oregon, United States

Outside the RingEdit

In 2004, Rocky Mountain Community College and the Billings Writer's Voice sponsored a poetry reading held by various Native American groups in tribute to Hipp.

In December 2005, Hipp was a FEMA worker for the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Responding to the call, he joined his fellow Blackfeet members who were called upon due to their experience in wildfires and search and rescue missions.

By 2007 Hipp was working for his former manager Ray Frye at a Seattle area sweeping company. He also co-owned a small construction company.


  1. ^ "BoxRec - Joe Hipp".

External linksEdit