Bright Lights, Small City

It was a warm night in August of 1992. Denton Field in Miles City was lit by a full moon and television lights; the field was packed with spectators gathered to see the boxing match of a lifetime — Montana’s Todd “Kid” Foster versus “Jazzy” Jeff Mayweather.

Many would imagine a fight which carried Super Welterweight title possibilities and was being broadcast by ESPN would be held in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, not in a small town in Montana in the middle of a high school football field.

That’s precisely the reason that Miles City filmmaker Mike Mintz is making a documentary about the marquee event.

Miles City residents remember the night like it was yesterday.

“The night of the fight was spectacular. There wasn’t a bug in the air. It was 70 degrees. And the crowd was probably as big of a crowd that I’ve ever seen,” said Kelly Reid, who helped organize the event. “It was just packed. It was just a wild night.”

The evening began with both boxers arriving in horse-drawn carriages. 

Reid and the Cowtown Sports Association were the reason the fight made its way to Miles City.

“There was a small group of Miles City businessmen that brought stuff to Miles City. We saw that ESPN was doing Thursday night fights and Foster fought so we started contacting ESPN and talking to Foster’s guys. We got together for a couple meetings and worked things out over a year. It just happened to be a Mayweather fight,” said Reid. 

The members of the Cowtown Sports Association included Keith Haker, Gary Matthews, Zane Kittleman, Greg Reid, John Etchemendy and Rob Zignego.

“Each member had his own specialty, so we split up what needed to be done,” said Reid. 

Foster, a Great Falls native, was a boxer in the 1980 Olympic Games, falling just short of the medal round. According to Mintz, the filmmaker, Foster had only one professional loss going into the fight.

Mintz said Mayweather was on the rise as a super welterweight fighter, working his way up to a title match. 

The night of the fight the stadium was packed to capacity.

“No matter who you talk to that was there, they remember it,” said Reid.

According to an old Miles City Star newspaper clipping, to reserved ringside tickets cost $100 each and ringside bleacher seats cost $50. They also offered general admission tickets for $20 that were sold at various locations. 

The event was promoted by Top Rank, Inc., and the Cowtown Sports Association. It was televised on Top Rank’s ESPN boxing program and Barry Tompkins announced the fight. 

The match ended with a big win for Foster. According to the Star, Foster took the win with a technical knockout in the eighth round. 

This fight of a lifetime sparked an idea for Mintz. He decided to create a documentary film about the event.

“The story is really good and interesting,” said Mintz.

“The Kid in the Cowtown,” was written and directed by Mintz through 9-0 Films. 9-0 Films was created for the purpose of making this film. 

The documentary will highlight the process and residents responsible for bringing the fight to Miles City.

According to Mintz, the film has been three years in the making and is a little over 70 percent complete. Currently, production is on hold due to a lack of money. Mintz has started a Kickstarter page to accept donations to cover the remaining costs. The page can be found at www.9-0films.com.

Mintz is working on the possibility of having both Foster and Mayweather in the film. Foster now runs a boxing gym in Great Falls. 

Mayweather has expressed interest but Foster is more hesitant, Mintz said. 

Mintz’s dream for the film is to enter it into several film festivals, like the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Bozeman. He’s hoping to have it completed by February. 

“I want it to be seen,” said Mintz. “The biggest dream would be to have it picked up, distributed and maybe [shown] on ESPN.”

Mintz doesn’t plan on stopping after this documentary. He said there are so many more stories from Miles City to be told.