Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Boxing Day (a day late)

Many parts of the world celebrated Boxing Day yesterday. Boxing Day is also known as a Day of Goodwill. On this day, the wealthier members of society give gifts to those less fortunate. Over time and into different countries and cultures, the concepts sometimes differ, but the general meaning is still very much at the center of the day. To represent Boxing Day, I am highlighting former boxing great, Leon Spinks.
Spinks won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division in the 1976 Olympics and also won the world heavyweight championship title when he beat Muhammad Ali in 1978. Spinks lost that title back to Ali 7 months later. After many years of mixed results, Spinks retired from boxing in 1995.
During a down time for Spinks, Chicago radio legend Jonathon Brandmeier helped him by lining up a few gigs for him, including appearing at some of Brandmeier's live shows. Spinks was a hit with Brandmeier's audience.
Partly because of Brandmeier's efforts, Spinks was brought back into the spotlight. Spinks has since become a regular on the 'meet-and-greet' circuit.
Brandmeier reaching out to and helping Spinks is a story very worthy of Boxing Day.
Leon Spinks and me at a Hollywood Collectors Show in Rosemont, IL-late 90's.

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