Leon Spinks: the only man to take a title from Muhammad Ali in the ring

Yes, Mi Irieites,

First of all, I thank each and everyone for my birthday shout out.  The support gets bigger and bigger each year.  And I am still overwhelmed by it.

Secondly, For all the fans at “Reggae in the Desert,” Las Vegas and the “River Bend Festival,” Chattanooga, TN, we thank you for coming along.  There were many that said they have not seen the band perform live in over 20 years.  Don’t be a stranger – from now on!

Today was a historical day in regards to boxing.  This day June 18th 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of the great Muhammad Ali being knocked down for the very first time in his career by the British Champion boxer, Henry Cooper.  Cooper knocked Ali down in round 4.  Ali  was saved by the bell.  Muhammad came back in the following round to stop Cooper with a severe damage to his right eye.

leonspinks
And guess who we got a chance to meet while in Vegas?  Another legendary boxer: Leon Spinks.

Leon was the first boxer to literally take the title from Ali in the ring. Ali’s other losses were non-title contests or bouts where Ali was the challenger. The only time before that was when Ali was stripped of his title by the US government for refusing to fight in Vietnam.

Sid and I teamed up with Leon at a bar at the Hilton Hotel (the very place the Spinks vs Ali fight took place, just over 35 years ago).  With excitement I was naming and recollecting the Spinks/Ali first encounter to Leon, saying that the fight took place in 1978.  But Spinks fired back at me saying “no the year I beat Ali was in 1975.”  I said, “No because Ali had not too long beat George Foreman.”  But Leon insisted it was 1975.  So as puzzled as I was, I accepted his challenge.  After all, it was HE that was tangling with the then Champ back then, not me.  He ought to know….. so I thought.

As we were getting ready to watch the play called “Raiding the Rock Vault” (a great play by the way), we saw someone that remembered hosting the fight and said to me, ‘IT WAS 1978, right here.”  Wow!  So there you go Leon, if you get a chance to read this.  Well, it was great meeting, a really humble individual who’s looking pretty good considering what he use to do for a living.

Stay blessed Leon, and a “Happy 60th year to you, Sir.”

P.S  Thanks Rande, for making this happen…
P.P.S.  Another boxing history note: When Leon’s brother Michael Spinks defeated Larry Holmes for the IBF heavyweight championship in 1985, they became the first brothers to have held world heavyweight championships.

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