UPDATE: Browning Boxing Legend Joe Hipp Returns to the Hometown Ring

By Beacon Staff

Former world champion Joe Hipp returned to the boxing ring in his hometown last weekend for the first time in seven years.

Hipp won in the fifth round with a TKO against Harry Funmaker in Browning on July 14. Hipp hiked his lifetime record to 44-7 with 30 knockouts. It was his first fight since 2005. Known during his career as “The Boss,” Hipp was the first Native American to fight for a world heavyweight championship and also win one. In 1995, he fought Bruce Seldon for the WBA title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He won the WBF title in 1999. Hipp was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

“You just never get tired of boxing,” he said during weigh-ins at Burton Boxing in Kalispell on July 13. “And my grandkids wanted to see me fight.”

Billy Wright, one of the top-ranked heavyweight boxers in the world, defeated Freddie Miller in the second round of a 12-round professional boxing match. Wright, who lives in Las Vegas and has been a pro fighter for 27 years, won via TKO and improved his record to 38-4 with 29 knockouts. Miller, from Spokane, is 3-6-1. With the win, Wright said he would be in position to fight one of the Klitschko brothers for a world heavyweight championship.

Wright called Saturday’s fights in Browning a “Vegas-quality event.” The event featured three professional fighters, including local John Jay Mount. Shelley Burton with Burton Boxing was the event’s promoter.

Mount was slated to fight Jess Salway in a four-round bout, but Salway backed out and Mount fought Missoula’s Adam Axelson in an exhibition bout. Axelson won.

Kalispell’s Marnic Mann fought Lindsay Hanson in the night’s fourth bout. The fight ended a draw.

Burton Boxing is holding a boxing smoker on Thursday, July 19 at the gym at 905 Center St. Fights begin at 7 p.m.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.