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Lost & Found
Ben Reiter
July 03, 2006
NOT EVERY RETIRED JOCK IS PLAYING GOLF. THESE FORMER STARS ARE HARD AT WORK IN NEW CAREERS OR CHASING THEIR DREAMS. ONE EVEN WENT HOLLYWOOD
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July 03, 2006

Lost & Found

NOT EVERY RETIRED JOCK IS PLAYING GOLF. THESE FORMER STARS ARE HARD AT WORK IN NEW CAREERS OR CHASING THEIR DREAMS. ONE EVEN WENT HOLLYWOOD

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Of course it had. Leonard and Spinks exemplify the group's diverse fortunes. Leonard, the light welterweight gold medalist, won pro titles in five weight classes. He makes speeches to FORTUNE 500 executives and hosts the boxing reality show The Contender, coproduced by Sylvester Stallone, which is in its second season. On May 20 more than 300 people, including Kenny G and Eddie Murphy, helped Leonard celebrate his 50th birthday in Los Angeles.

Spinks, the light heavyweight gold medalist in Montreal, took the WBA heavyweight title from Muhammad Ali in February 1978, in Spinks's eighth pro fight. Seven months later Ali took the belt back, and by the mid-'90s, after blowing through several million dollars that he made as a fighter, Spinks was a greeter at Mike Ditka's restaurant in Chicago. Today, still smiling toothlessly but afflicted with dementia, he lives in Columbus, Neb., where he is a janitor at a YMCA. His Olympic medal was stolen, and one of his sons, Leon Calvin, was murdered in St. Louis in 1990. "Look at me," Spinks says. "Lies don't help me. So I smile. I make friends. That ain't so bad."

Davis, the lightweight gold medalist, who was 36-6-1 as a pro, is a boxing instructor in Florida and the father of 11 children. Like Spinks, he says he was ripped off by advisers, but he is in better physical and financial shape than Neon Leon.

The fighters recalled teammates who weren't there. John Tate, the heavyweight bronze medalist in '76 and later the WBA heavyweight champ, was killed in a car accident in 1998. Clint Jackson, the Olympian welterweight, has served more than 16 years of a life sentence in Alabama for kidnapping. Davis has written the parole board, promising to give Jackson a job if his teammate is released. The squad has always been close, said Mooney: "We looked out for each other. We were family."

Spinks, though, thinks the team was unique for another reason: Light middleweight Chuck Walker became a professional tap dancer. "Best dancer," Spinks said, "was the [only] white guy."

Team USA

DAVEY ARMSTRONG
FEATHERWEIGHT; no medal
Lives in Puyallup, Wash., and works as a bookkeeper for the city of Seattle

LOUIS CURTIS
LIGHT FLYWEIGHT; none
Won 14 of 21 pro fights; now drives a truck for Nabisco and lives in Temple Hills, Md.

HOWARD DAVIS
LIGHTWEIGHT; gold
Head boxing coach for American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Fla.

CLINT JACKSON
WELTERWEIGHT; none
Serving a life sentence in Union Springs, Ala., after a 1989 kidnapping conviction

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