By Lorenzo Recupero
According to a well-known mountain in Everett, ‘there’s no quitting boxing’.
That mountain – not to be confused with the Whidden hill – is, none other than Everett native and boxing champion Richie “The Mountain” LaMontagne.
At 52 years of age, he’s back in the ring doing what he does best and showing no signs of stopping.
“I love to fight,” said LaMontagne, who is preparing for his fourth professional bout since returning to the ring in October of 2021. Since returning to the pro ranks, he is 3-0 including two knockouts.
Prior to October, LaMontagne fought last in 2005, a World Boxing Union cruiserweight title fight with Enzo Maccarinelli. Now why would a man his age want to get punched still, you ask? It’s all about the thrill of the fight.
“It just feels real good to punch, and the fear of being punched, It’s living on the edge for me,” said LaMontange, who remains entrenched in his love for boxing.
And although he may not have competed professionally for nearly two decades, the will and desire never left.
“I never left the ring,” said LaMontagne. “Anyone that knows me knows I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I grew up with punching bags in my cellar. I’d wake up every day and first thing I would do is walk down there and hit the bags and I still do. I’m not lying on my a** doing nothing. I push myself to my limits,” he said.
That’s precisely why he feels, even as an older athlete, he’s in the best shape of his life and still a boxer who packs a punch. “I feel awesome. It’s amazing when you can find the fountain of youth through eating well and taking care of your body,” said a visibly fit LaMontagne. “Your body is a machine. How you treat your body is how you shape your life,” he said. To prepare for his next fight, scheduled for some time this summer, according to his longtime manager Luis Tapia, LaMontagne has been training with Joe Ricciardi at Broadway Boxing in Everett.
“I’m surprised with Richie,” said Tapia of his boxer. “He hasn’t changed much. He is the same guy from 25 years ago. His speed is there, his jab is there, his footwork and combos are all still there,” said Tapia, who is hoping to put together a professional or exhibition match against some of boxing’s all-time biggest names, including Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson. Tapia is also working on possibly getting LaMontagne into the ring with younger, more contemporary boxers such as brothers Logan and Jake Paul. “We are looking for a good fight, good payday, and to get him another win,” said Tapia.
At 31-7-1 overall and riding a 3-fight win streak, LaMontagne is looking just to get back from boxing the lifetime of hard work he’s put into the sport.
“There’s no quitting in me. I’m not a quitter. When my time comes, then I’ll retire. I’ve given so much to boxing. Boxing still owes me,” he said.