Boxing Legend Leon Spinks Hospitalized After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 14, 2019

Hall of Famer Leon Spinks at the Boxing Hall of Fame parade in Canastota, N.Y., on Sunday, June 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Mike Groll/Associated Press

Former boxing heavyweight champion Leon Spinks has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to TMZ Sports.

A family spokesperson has released further details on Spinks' condition:

"Leon is currently in intensive care of a Las Vegas hospital receiving attentive medical care to suppress prostate cancer which he was diagnosed with earlier this year and has since spread to his bladder.

"The last few months have been an agonizing roller coaster for Leon and his wife, Brenda, with continuous hospital stays.

"Leon is showing small signs of improvement and progress. A miraculous fighter his entire life, we are optimistic and hopeful that he will move out of ICU soon.

"The power of prayer is real and his family is beyond grateful for all of the tremendous love and support."

Spinks, 66, most notably defeated Muhammad Ali via split decision on Feb. 15, 1978, to win the heavyweight title. Ali beat Spinks in a rematch seven months later.

He also won a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in the light heavyweight division, winning five matches capped by a victory over Cuba's Sixto Soria.

Spinks never won the heavyweight title for a second time but enjoyed a successful pro career that saw him finish with a 26-17-3 record. His last fight occurred in 1995.

BoxRec ranks Spinks 89th among heavyweights all-time in its ratings.

Spinks has encountered numerous health issues earlier this decade, which Joyce Lupiani of KNTV Las Vegas outlined.

"In 2012, he was diagnosed with brain trauma at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain health," Lupiani wrote. "In 2014, he was hospitalized after a piece of bone from a chicken wing caused major damage to his intestines."

Spinks lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Brenda Glur Spinks. He is a member of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.

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