LAUREL, MONT. -- At Sonny O'day's Pub you won't find bright lights or limousines. There is no admission and St. Patrick's Day is its biggest draw. But stepping through its front door is like stepping back in time.

"It's taken 40 years to make this the museum it is," says O'day, a former fighter and member of the Montana Boxing Commission who has dedicated his pub in southern Montana to the glories of the ring.

"This is boxing preserved," he said. "People from New York and Las Vegas want me to sell them my pub. I tell them they're crazy. This place goes with me."

The walls inside O'day's are covered with posters promoting fights and autographed pictures of boxing legends. "Some of the great fighters in our history have made their way through here," said O'day. "Prize fighting was the only sport back in the '30s."

Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Gene Tunney, Jack Johnson, James Braddock, Willie Pep, Rocky Graziano, Floyd Patterson and Sugar Ray Robinson are pictured with authentic signatures to back them up.

"Jack Dempsey was a drifter, he used to travel from town to town and fight," O'day said. "Fighters never stayed in one town back in those days. I met Dempsey on the streets of Butte. He used to always stop by to see his pals."

In 1923 Dempsey fought Tommy Gibbons in Shelby, Mont. Pictures from the fight are among the most prized of O'day's collection.

"Dempsey was here in 1954," O'day said. "He personally gave me pictures of the {Shelby} fight."

Also pictured and signed at O'day's are The Ring magazine founder Nat Fleischer, Sonny Liston, Cassius Clay and George Foreman. "I have pictures nobody else has," O'day said. "And everyone wants them."

O'day, 71, started his boxing career in 1927 as an amateur. In 1931, at about 12, he became the youngest professional boxer in Montana, fighting in three divisions: featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.

It was in the early 1930s when O'day was coined the "Kid From Meaderville," a name he still uses today.

"Butte was a big sports town, a thriving mining camp," O'day said. "Meaderville was a mining town located on the east side of Butte Hill. It was full of gambling houses and bars. I used to run a night club, and I remember when Gene Tunney came to my party in 1938. We have several pictures of that."

After the war O'day moved to Laurel in 1948 and established what is now Sonny O'day's Pub. As a member of the Montana Boxing Commission, O'day says he was responsible for Montana's "best fight."

"The Gene Fullmer versus Joey Giardello fight at the Bozeman Fieldhouse in 1960, that was Montana's best fight, ever," he said. "I refereed the fight and it ended in a draw. Denver, Seattle and San Francisco wanted the fight, but I brought it here."

O'day doesn't claim to be a boxing legend, but he does remember his fighting days.

"My conclusive record of amateur and pro fights combined is 529 fights," he said. "I would say about 90 percent were victories. I was a tough fighter. Everyone knew who I was. But they're all dead now."

Still, Sonny O'day opens his pub every day, sits at the corner of the bar and peers out the window looking down Main Street.

"I'm a survivor of the fight game," he said. "He who hits, blocks and stays away, lives to box another day."