MIAMI —Tony McMinn was the original 4 State Franchise.
“The Irish Express,” a Quapaw High School graduate who now lives in Miami, had more than 150 amateur and professional fights.
McMinn was 51-8 with 46 knockouts as a pro from 1976 and 1981.
He also had a 93-9 record with 57 KOs in an amateur career that saw him win more than 30 tournaments and numerous Golden Gloves and Silver Mittens titles.
The modern-era 4 State Franchise — Trey Lippe Morrison, Ivan Baranchyk, Charles Conwell, brothers Dillon and Jesse Cook, Kenzie Morrison and Jarrett Rouse — are a stable of boxers based out of Miami and managed by former Miamian Tony Holden.
“They seem like some pretty good fighters,” McMinn said. “They are making the effort to put boxing on around here.”
Lippe Morrison is the 12th-ranked heavyweight in the United States and 49th in the world according to the website boxrec.com.
Baranchyk is 30th in the world in the super lightweight division.
“I think he (Lippe Morrison) will get a shot at something big one of these days,” said McMinn, a 1976 graduate of Quapaw High School.
Kenzie Morrison and Conwell, a member of the United States’ 2016 Olympic boxing team, will fight on a free card Friday, Aug. 25, that will be part of a telecast by Fox Sports 1 that originates from downtown Miami at the intersection of North Main and 1st NW-SW.
The main event of the show here pits Tureano Johnson (20-1) against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0) in an IBF middleweight eliminator.
The winner faces either Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin either later this year or in early 2018.
Those two square off Sept. 16, where Golovkin will defend his IBF, WBC and WBA titles and Alvarez will attempt to defend his Ring Magazine title.
Also on the show will be middleweights Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1) vs. Hugo Centano Jr. (25-1).
Conwell (4-0), of Cleveland, has tentatively been paired against Andres Calixto Rey (7-6) of Alice, Texas in a four-round middleweight fight.
Conwell’s brother Isaiah Steen (8-0), also of Cleveland, and Desmond Nicholson (17-2-1), of Laurel, Maryland, also will be on the card in a pair of super middleweight scraps as well as Morrison (11-0-2).
Steen will go six rounds while Nicholson is scheduled for an eight rounder.
Opponents for Kenzie Morrison, Steen and Nicholson have not been announced.
The undercard starts at 6:30 p.m. with the telecast going live at 8 p.m.
If there is rain in the forecast for Friday, the event will be move to the Peoria Showplace at Buffalo Run Casino and Resort.
Former Miamian Keith Anderson will perform a free concert at Buffalo Run following the boxing event.
To say that McMinn was a prolific fighter is an understatement.
He stepped in the ring 17 times in 1977, 11 in 1981, seven in 1976 and 1979, six in 1978, four in 1980, two in 1982 and wrapped up his career with a 1991 fight.
McMinn had 10 fights at the Civic Center and went five times at Quapaw.
He also boxed in Oklahoma City, Bartlesville, Joplin, Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Phoenix, Arizona; Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Carson City, Nevada, Lake Ozark, Missouri; St. Joseph, Missouri; Houston, Jacksonville, Florida, and Las Vegas.
“I always wanted to fight in New York City, but never did,” McMinn said.
His dad, the late Clarence McMinn — who had 22 pro fights of his own — served as his manager and trainer.
Tony McMinn’s first fight was when he was 5 and he turned pro at 18 while still in high school.
At the height of his career, McMinn was ranked 16th in the world and 12th in North America by the WBA.
“If he thought someone was too much, he wouldn’t let me fight,” Tony McMinn said. “There were some guys we fought that were a lot tougher than we thought they were going to be.”
McMinn made his pro debut May 3, 1976, with a first-round knockout against Titus Shelby in Topeka, Kansas.
Among his fights was a 1977 clash with Chuck Walker, a member of the United States’ 1976 Olympic boxing team.
Walker scored a 10-round unanimous decision against McMinn.
He retired after losing by TKO in the first round against Duane Thomas on Feb. 27, 1981, at the Aladdin in Las Vegas.
But that wasn’t it. Fast-forward 10 years.
“I had quit boxing then got married and we had a son,” McMinn said. “I don’t remember how old he was, but one day he was talking to me and said ‘Dad, I never did get to see you box … I would like to see you box.’ I said ‘I will talk to Dad (Clarence) and maybe we can start training again. Maybe I could do it.’”
Tony McMinn’s comeback fight on April 13, 1991, at the Civic Center was impressive, saw Tony knock out Don Hunter in the second round.
“It was a lot of fun,” Tony McMinn said. “He got to see me. I went out as a winner.”
Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhogn0hWTHY for a YouTube documentary on McMinn.