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He's already the undisputed king of the welterweights, now Cory Spinks is in search of the defining fights that made dad Leon and uncle Michael legends. STEVE FARHOOD reports on a fighter who is currently seven pounds too heavy to emulate his illustrious relatives.
The birthday of Cory Spinks is 20 February 1978. It's amazing that the unified welterweight champion didn't enter the world five days earlier, while his mother was fidgeting and gyrating in front of the television set in St. Louis. On that night, Cory's father, prohibitive underdog Leon Spinks, won the world heavyweight title from Muhammad Ali. Somehow, Zadie Mae Calvin absorbed Leon's 15 rounds of labour without as much as a single contraction.
By the time "Neon Leon" was the suddenly former heavyweight champion, Cory was all of seven months old. It's difficult to believe, but Leon Spinks, whose post-Ali record was a forgettable 19-16-2, fought until December 1995. That's only two years before Cory turned pro, and seven years after brother Michael exited following his loss to Mike Tyson.