The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Jeffrey LeMair - Inducted 2005

One of the most outstanding boxers to come out of South Dakota, LeMair started in the sport at age 13. Over the next 12 years he participated in more than 200 amateur bouts, boxed against two Olympic gold medalists and two world pro champions, and represented the United States in international competition 11 times. The 1972 O'Gorman High and 1976 University of South Dakota grad had a career record of 138-33 with about 30 "no-decision exhibitions." He was never knocked out. He participated in the national Golden Gloves tournament six years in a row (1973-78). In 1974, he knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard in the 139-pound semifinals but lost a split-decision. Leonard went on to become an Olympic and pro champion. LeMair also lost split decisions in his career to Jerry Rybicki of Poland (1976 Olympic 156-pound champ) and J.B. Williamson, a future world light heavyweight champ. LeMair won nine district Golden Gloves titles (1970-78) and was the first boxer to win six consecutive Midwest Region titles. He won five state AAU and four Region XI AAU titles. He was Police Athletic League national welterweight champion in 1978. In 1979, he was a runner-up at the Western Olympic Trials and at the U.S. tryouts for the World Cup. He was national AAU boxing representative to the Olympic Committee (1979-80) and he met with President Jimmy Carter at the White House in 1980 regarding the U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow. LeMair was scheduled to represent the USA in Poland in March of 1980. However, a last-minute change enabled him to box in East Germany instead. The plane to Poland crashed, killing the entire U.S. contingent. He was inducted into the Great Plains Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame in 1982. LeMair lives in Sioux Falls. He has been a counselor and caseworker at the Minnehaha County Regional Juvenile Detention Center for 27 years. LeMair has a passion for exercise. Since 1981, he's completed 30 marathons, including Boston. He also plays recreational hockey. (PHOTO MIDDLE RIGHT IS LEMAIR BEING INTERVIEWED BY ABC-TV'S KEITH JACKSON) (PHOTO TO LEFT OF THAT IS LEMAIR WITH SUGAR RAY LEONARD) (PHOTO AT BOTTOM IS LEMAIR and PAT JEFFERSON)

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