In 1978 the heavyweight champion of the world was thought to be a dufus.
His name was Leon Spinks, Jr., and on a February night in Las Vegas, he beat up Muhammad Ali and won boxing's most prestigious title.
As it would turn out, Spinks won more than he bargained for. In the brief time he held the title--Ali licked him seven months later in the rematch--Spinks never quite did get the hang of his newly attained celebrity.
Practically from the moment his hand was raised in victory, Spinks was hip-deep in problems. Sued by a motel for unpaid bills. Sued by his landlord in Philadelphia for back rent. Arrested--and then photographed in handcuffs--for driving the wrong way down a one-way street without a license.
A look-alike of the new champion even turned up in Philadelphia. In Leon's word, the dead ringer was "imposturing" him--signing autographs in public and encouraging local merchants to shower him with complimentary goods. For a couple of weeks, the man sampled the high times, then he prudently faded away.