Michael Spinks first began making boxing history in 1976 when every member of his U.S. Olympic team won gold medals in Montreal. Spinks made history again when he defeated Larry Holmes to became the first light-heavyweight champion since Tommy Burns in 1908 to win the world heavyweight title. As the younger brother of Leon Spinks, his victory over Holmes made them the first pair of brothers ever to be world heavyweight champions.
For his accomplishments, The Literary Cafe will present “A Philly Salute” to the boxing legend from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Warmdaddy’s, 1400 S. Columbus Blvd. For a $10 admission, guests will hear the former boxing great talk about his career and have an opportunity to get his autograph.
Spinks says he and his brother are still close. As youngsters they learned boxing fundamentals together. As adults they triumphed as pugilists.
“I went pretty far in the sport,” said Spinks. “I remember all of that. I dedicated myself to the sport and found out a key matter is if you work and train hard and you get the victory. So, I learned how to win. And, I learned how to win before my big brother. When I won, it made Leon get on the good foot and start winning himself.”
A native of St. Louis, Spinks moved to Philadelphia when he turned pro following his Olympic Gold Medal win in 1976. In 1986, Spinks and Holmes fought a rematch, with Spinks winning in a 15-round split decision.
According to background information provided by his longtime publicist Flo Anthony, when Spinks was stripped of the crown by the IBF to fight the mandatory challenger Tony Tucker and accepting a higher offer to fight Gerry Cooney instead, Spinks knocked Cooney out in 5 rounds and went on to lose by a knock-out in June 1988 in the first round to Mike Tyson.
A week later, Spinks retired from boxing at the age of 32, with a record…