Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Article excerpt

Michael Spinks Enters Boxing Hall Of Fame

Native St. Louisan Michael Spinks stunned the boxing world in 1985 when he outfought undefeated Larry Holmes to become the first light heavyweight to win a heavyweight title. That upset, along with Spinks' domination of the light heavyweight ranks between 1981 and 1985, carried him into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday.

"He was one of the greatest champions. He had the attitude and the ability," said his one-time trainer, Eddie Futch, who was enshrined along with Spinks and 12 other former ring personalties.

Spinks, with his brother Leon and his longtime associate Butch Lewis, watching, Michael Spinks became the youngest member of the Hall of Fame.

"This has been a special weekend for me and a very special weekend for my crew that I shared my career with," Spinks, 37, said to more than 2,000 fans attending the ceremony in Canastona, N.Y. "I take into the boxing Hall of Fame Butch Lewis . . . I take into the boxing Hall of Fame all the people all over the world that have prayed for my well-being," Spinks said.

The 1994 class also included Jack Sharkey, at 92, the oldest living former heavyweight champion; longtime promoter Chris Dundee, who joined his brother Angelo in the Hall; Joey Maxim, the light heavyweight champion from 1950-1952; and Carlos Zarate, a bantamweight champion in the late 1970s.

Spinks compiled a 31-1 record, losing only to Mike Tyson. He won an Olympic gold medal in Montreal in 1976 and joined Leon as the first brothers to ever win gold medals at the same Olympics. His victory over Holmes made Michael and Leon Spinks the only brothers to win world heavyweight championships. Leon won his title in 1978 by defeating Muhammad Ali.

The inductees were chosen from a panel of boxing writers and historians from around the world and selected from four categories: modern era, old-timers who fought between 1893 and 1942, pioneers and non-participants. Joining Spinks, Maxim and Zarate from the modern era was Jackie "Kid" Berg, an Englishman who won the junior welterweight championship in 1930. …

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