Leon Spinks is Mugged
January 16, 1981 - In the early morning hours of this day, former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks was attacked and robbed of $45,000 worth of jewelry, clothing and other items.
Spinks was walking out of a Detroit bar when someone clocked him in the head. He never saw who or what hit him. He told police he woke up in a motel about 5 miles from the bar. All his clothes, including a very expensive blue fox coat were gone. The robber(s) even took his removable front teeth.
During his boxing career, Spinks won an Olympic gold medal and the Heavyweight title by beating Muhammad Ali. At the height of his success, Mr. T was one of his bodyguards.
Within ten years of being the champion of the world, Leon Spinks was homeless. He says he lost all his money to drugs and shady business partners. For the last twenty years, Spinks has been picking up the pieces.
For a time we worked as a janitor at a Columbus, Nebraska YMCA, and did volunteer work with kids in an after-school program.
In 2012 he moved to Las Vegas where he could find work doing public appearances and autograph signings. One year later he was diagnosed with brain trauma, almost certainly related to his time in the boxing ring.
A Marine Corps veteran, Spinks has been receiving care and therapy through the VA. He's also participating in an ongoing longitudinal study of the effects of boxing on the brain.