The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today Olympic gold medalists and heavyweight champions Leon and Michael Spinks are confirmed to attend the Hall of Fame’s 30th Anniversary celebration during the 2019 Hall of Fame Weekend, June 6-9th.
Michael Spinks captured middleweight gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. As a pro, he won the WBA and WBC light heavyweight titles before becoming the first light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title when he defeated Larry Holmes (W 15) for the IBF belt in 1985. Spinks retired in 1988 with a pro record of 31-1 (21 KOs) that includes wins over Yaqui Lopez, Marvin Johnson, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Gerry Cooney and Dwight Qawi. In 1994, Spinks was elected into the Hall of Fame.
One of boxing’s most colorful personalities, “Neon” Leon captured light heavyweight gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. He turned pro in 1977 and, on February 15, 1978, in only his 8th pro bout, Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali (W 15) for the world heavyweight championship. The bout was deemed “Fight of the Year” and “Upset of the Year.” During his career, Spinks scored wins over Alfredo Evangelista, Bernardo Mercado, Jesse Burnett and drew with Eddie Lopez and Scott LeDoux.
“Leon and Michael Spinks hold a special place in boxing history as the only brothers to win both Olympic gold medals and the world heavyweight championship,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “We are excited to welcome both to Canastota to be part of the 30th Anniversary celebration.”
Many events in “Boxing’s Hometown” of Canastota throughout the four-day celebration are planned, including a 5K Race / Fun Run, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, VIP Cocktail Reception, Parade of Champions and the Official Induction Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds. The Hall of Fame Weekend evening events include Friday night’s Fight Night at Turning Stone and Saturday’s Banquet of Champions. Both events will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
The Class of 2019 includes two division world champions Donald “Lone Star Cobra” Curry, Julian “The Hawk” Jackson and James “Buddy” McGirt; welterweight champion Tony DeMarco; matchmaker / promoter Don Elbaum, referee / judge Guy Jutras, publicist Lee Samuels, broadcaster Teddy Atlas and journalist Mario Rivera Martino.
An impressive list of over 35 boxing greats from the United States and abroad, including five-time world champion Vinny Paz, junior welterweight star “Irish” Micky Ward, 1970s heavyweight star Earnie Shavers, two-division champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, bantamweight champion Paulie Ayala, welterweight champion John H. Stracey, Olympic gold medalist and two-time welterweight champion Mark Breland, two-division champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver, referee Kenny Bayless and Hall of Famers Larry Hazzard, Carlos Ortiz, Michael Carbajal, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, are scheduled to participate in the 30th Anniversary celebration.
For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 30th Annual Induction Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram .