In 1976, right after he and his brother Leon had won gold medals in boxing at the Montreal Olympics, Michael Spinks declined to turn professional.
What kept him from taking the step was his fear that he might end, as many fighters before him had, with none of the spoils of his labors.
"That bothered me more than anything," he said. "I couldn't stand to see another person living comfortably by jerking me out of my money. Treating me like a horse or cow. It was too vicious."
Leon's troubled career also shaded Michael's reactions to his business. "What Leon went through," said Lewis, "was like a rush through the Twilight Zone. Being so close to it, Michael's reaction was: 'You mean, this is what I have to look forward to? If that's it, I don't want it.' He had questions about whether he wanted to continue fighting. He wasn't in love with boxing after the Olympics and he still isn't. Michael Spinks doesn't like to fight. It's just his profession."
How different the brothers were. Where Leon was impulsive and given to the moment's pleasure, Michael was