Renton River Days Honors Community Member and Former Prizefighter
Boone “Boom Boom” Kirkman as 2019 Parade Grand Marshal
Former heavyweight prizefighter and Renton resident Boone “Boom Boom” Kirkman is this year’s Grand Marshal of the annual Renton River Days Parade, sponsored by Brotherton Cadillac.
Kirkman, a heavyweight championship contender, once fought and sparred with some of the biggest names in boxing: George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton. He reached a world ranking of No. 7 and appeared on the cover of Ring Magazine in 1968.
Kirkman grew up in Renton and took the bus to a Seattle gym where he learned his craft. After winning regional tournaments, in 1965 he emerged into the national spotlight, winning the national AAU tournament by knocking out Fleming Mosley in the second round.
In Nov. 1970, Kirkman, with a record of 22-1 with 18 knockouts, faced Olympic gold medalists George Foreman. Kirkman lost the fight, along with his hopes to fight the great Muhammad Ali. Kirkman retired from boxing in 1978.
Still a Renton resident, at 74 Kirkman remains amazingly fit, taking “hill hikes” that would be too much for many people half his age, and, he says, his mind is 100%. His history outside of boxing is rooted in Renton: he drove a delivery truck for Boeing and once owned the downtown Melrose Grill. Now, he loves staying active with fly fishing and climbing mountains.
Renton honored the hometown hero with a building-sized mural of Kirkman by artist Will Schlough on the wall of La Hacienda Santa Fe restaurant South 3rd Street.
The public is invited to experience this year’s River Days Parade on Saturday, July 27, starting at 10:00 a.m., on South 3rd Street in downtown Renton. The Parade features drill teams, cheer squads, clowns, classic and antique cars, and so much more.
“It’s such a great honor to be recognized by my hometown, Renton. I’m really looking forward to being in the Renton River Days Parade.” — Boone Kirkman