Good news on Tuesday Morning regarding the health of former Heavyweight Champion, Leon Spinks, who is battling cancer.
TMZ Sports reported late Monday that Spinks has been released recently from a Las Vegas Hospital, where he has been since December:
Leon Spinks Out Of Hospital After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis, 'Great Spirits' https://t.co/32frqxTGbC
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) March 3, 2020
“Leon is home from the hospital and is slowly relearning his daily routine and getting physical therapy a few times a week. He is in great spirits and has received an outpouring of love these past few months.”
As we wrote late last year, the 66 year old Leon Spinks, a former US Olympic Champion and the man who stunned the boxing world with a 15-round decision win over Muhammad Ali in February of 1978, had been in the ICU suffering from prostate and bladder cancer.
Spinks has been in failing health for several years, but the latest episode had Spinks’ wife Brenda telling media members it was looking dire for the former champ. Obviously, his treatment and condition have improved.
Leon Spinks was a decorated amateur fighter having represented the United States winning a silver medal at the 1975 Pan Am Games. He later won Gold in the Light Heavyweight category in 1976. And, along with his younger brother Michael winning gold in the Middleweight category of those same Montreal games, they became the first brothers in Olympic boxing history to accomplish that at the same Olympics.
When Spinks stunned Ali over 15 rounds less than 24 months after that gold medal win, he also made pro boxing history. That night in Vegas, he won the Heavyweight Title in just his eighth professional fight, which had never been done that soon. And, Spinks’ upset probably is only topped by “Buster” Douglas kayoing Mike Tyson in 1990.
Spinks title reign only lasted seven months, as Ali won the rematch in New Orleans by unanimous 15 round decision to regain the belts.
Spinks earned another title shot, when he beat the WBC’s number one contender, Bernardo Mercado with a 9th round KO in 1980.
That set him up for a title fight in 1981 against champion Larry Holmes. But, Holmes kayoed Spinks in the third round denying him a chance to regain the title. Spinks later competed as a cruiserweight and fought for that division’s world championship again in 1986. But, champ Dwight Muhammad Qawi defeated him by 6th round TKO in his last World Title bid.
Michael Spinks later upset Holmes in 1985 by decision, handing Holmes his first pro loss after over 15 title defenses and later defeated Holmes in another controversial 12 round rematch. The Spinks brothers became the first to ever hold the heavyweight title. And, later, they both were inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame in August of 2017.
Spinks has been a resident of Las Vegas since 2011. He has been in declining health since 2014, when he was hospitalized for over a month due two abdominal and intestinal problems and surgery.
The gossip site further reported that Spinks will apparently take part in an upcoming autograph session in April. He has commonly done this in and around Las Vegas, including with his brother, as arguably the most famous brother boxing duo of the last 50 years.