By: Sean Crose
Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks is reportedly in a Las Vegas hospital. According to TMZ, the former Olympian, who stunned the world by besting the iconic Muhammad Ali back in 1978, is “fighting for his life.” The 66 year old Spinx’ wife took to Facebook on Monday: “Dear Friends,” she wrote. “It’s been awhile. However you know how I Believe In the Power of Prayer. Reaching out to ask you to kindly send some prayers out for my Beautiful Husband Leon. So that he may overcome the obstacles that have crossed his path. We Love You All & Appreciate Your Support.”
Spinks’ son, Leon Spinks III, also took to social media: “As u all know by now,” he stated, “I’m a very very private person & i NEVER seek attention or emotional support on social media for the uncontrollable b.s life seem to throw at me.. but this is for the record My Dad isnt doing so good now & his wife Brenda Glur Spinks and I ask that u pray that he weather’s this storm. my dad is all i have left and i really appreciate it if yall let God know that he is not in this battle alone .. PLEEEEASE – Thank You”
No mention has been made as of press time as to what Spinks is currently suffering from. He has reportedly had medical scares before. TMZ points out that the former champion suffered from severe internal issues caused by a chicken bone a few years back. The fact that the Spinks family is reaching out to the public for prayers indicates that this current medical challenge is quite serious. “Please join me in praying for good health for my brother, who is my idol @LeonNeonSpinks,” younger brother Michael – also a former heavyweight champion – tweeted on Tuesday.
After winning a gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games, Spinks, who had also served in the US Marines, went on to meet the great Ali in Las Vegas in February of ’78. Although he was a prohibitive underdog, the product of St Louis employed his awkward style to such success that he walked away with a split decision win, and the heavyweight championship of the world. Ali, however, went on to regain his crown the following September in New Orleans by earning a unanimous decision victory. Spinks was never again able to attain the heights he reached in the late 70s. Still, the elder of the famed Spinks brothers had made his mark on the sport of boxing, a sport he continued to engage in professionally until 1995.