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."
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
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."
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."
FEATHERWEIGHT; no medal
Lives in Puyallup, Wash., and works as a bookkeeper for the city of Seattle
LIGHT FLYWEIGHT; none
Won 14 of 21 pro fights; now drives a truck for Nabisco and lives in Temple
Head boxing coach for American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Fla.
Serving a life sentence in Union Springs, Ala., after a 1989 kidnapping