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Leon Spinks, The Man Who Defeated Muhammad Ali, Dies At 67

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Leon Spinks, who surprised the boxing world by beating Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title in 1978, died Friday night at age 67, according to the Firm PR, a public relations firm that represents him.

Spinks, who had been suffering from prostate and other cancers for five years, died with his wife, Brenda Glur Spinks, by his side, the firm said.

The St. Louis native, a former Marine who won a gold medal as a light heavyweight at the 1976 Olympics, was just 13 months and eight fights into his pro boxing career when he stepped into a ring against Ali on Feb. 15, 1978, in Las Vegas.

But Spinks a heavy underdog who had never gone beyond 10 rounds – went right after the champ, who was 36 years old and clearly on the downside of his career.

Spinks, then 24, had enough endurance to survive a 15th-round flurry from Ali – and provide one of his own in the closing seconds. The split decision went to Spinks, who flashed his famous gap-toothed grin after becoming the only fighter to take a title from Ali in the ring.” In that fight, everything clicked,” promoter Bob Arum said Saturday.

“He came in with a game plan, and he beat Ali. It wasn’t that Ali wasn’t at his best, but Leon shocked everybody with how good Leon was.”

Suddenly, Spinks was the heavyweight champion of the world, memorably proclaiming afterward, “I’m not The Greatest. Just the latest.”

But that would turn out to be the highlight of Spinks’ career. First, he was stripped of the WBC title for refusing to defend against top contender Ken Norton. Instead, Spinks chose a rematch with Ali, who took back the WBA title in a unanimous decision at the Superdome in New Orleans seven months after their first bout. It was the last win of Ali’s career.

Spinks would fight just once more for the heavyweight title, a TKO loss to Larry Holmes for the WBC belt in June 1981. He then dropped down to the cruiserweight division but lost his only title shot to Dwight Muhammad Qawi on a sixth-round TKO in March 1986. At points during his professional career, he had Mr. T, the future movie and television star, as his bodyguard.

Spinks retired at age 42 after losing a unanimous decision to Fred Houpe in December 1995 and finished his career with an unremarkable record of 26-17-3 (14 KOs).

Spinks, who battled in wrestling and mixed martial arts later in his career, dealt with financial and medical problems later in life.

“I was a poor young guy,” Spinks told the New York Daily News in 1997. “I never had nothing. All of a sudden I had something. I tried to do too much. I was crazy. I didn’t care about nothing. You think it’s never going to end.

READ ALSO; Aig-Imoukhuede Institute Begins Leadership Programme For Public Servants

After moving to Las Vegas, Spinks married Brenda in 2011. The two were often seen at boxing-related activities, including Spinks’ 2017 induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.

“He was happy-go-lucky, the salt of the earth,” Arum said, chuckling at the memories. “Leon was nutty, but you couldn’t get angry at the guy. He never meant any harm to anyone. You couldn’t help but love him even though you shook your head at how he acted.”

In 2014, he suffered intestinal damage and was hospitalised after swallowing a piece of chicken bone. It led to multiple surgeries. In 2019, he was in and out of the hospital while undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

Spinks was the brother of Hall of Fame former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks and the father of former undisputed welterweight world champion Cory Spinks.

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Full List Of 52 Stations Shut By NBC

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Full List Of 52 Stations Shut By NBC

By John Michael Ojo
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), on Friday, took a drastic measure towards 52 broadcast stations across the country over an incurred debt of about N2.6 billion.

Among the broadcast outfits which were asked to shut down their operations are: the African Independent Television (AIT), Silverbird Television and the broadcasting corporations of various state governments.

While briefing journalists on the development, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the  Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah, said all the television and radio stations affected must halt operations in the next 24 hours.

READ ALSO: NBC Shuts Down AIT, Silverbird, Others

See full list:

1. Silverbird TV (Silverbird Communications Co. Ltd)
2. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Abuja
3 Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Lagos
4. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Yenagoa
5. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Port-Harcourt
6. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Jos
7. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communication Ltd) Benin
8. AIT/Ray Power FM (DAAR Communication Itd) Network
9. Greetings FM (Greetings Media Ltd) FM Network
10. Tao FM (Ovidi Communications Ltd) FM Okene
11. Zuma FM (Zuma FM Ltd) FM Suleja
12. Crowther FM (Crowther Communications Ltd) FM Abuja
13. We FM (Kings Broadcasting Ltd) FM Benin
14. Linksman International Itd Keffi
15. Bomay Broadcasting Services Itd Abuja
16. MTV (Murhi International Group Ltd) Ibadan
17. Classic FM (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd) Port-Harcourt
18. Classic FM (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd) Lagos
19. Classic TV (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd) Lagos
20. Beat FM (Megalectrics LTD) Lagos
21. Cooper Communications Itd Lagos
22. Splash FM (West Midlands Ltd) Ibadan
23. Rock City FM (Boot Communications Ita) Abeokuta
24. Family FM (Kalaks Investments Nig. Ltd) Ilugun
25.Space FM (Creazioni Nig. Ltd) Ibadan
26. Radio Jeremi (Radio Jeremi Itd) Effurun

READ ALSO: After EFCC Hunt For Tompolo, Buhari Awards Him N4b Monthly Pipeline Surveillance Contract

27. Breeze FM (Bays Water Itd) Akure
28. Vibes FM (Vibes Communication Itd) Benin
29.Family Love FM (Multimesh Broadcasting Co. Ltd) Port-Harcourt
30. Wave FM (South Atlantic Media Itd) Port-Harcourt
31. Kogi State Broadcasting Corporation
32. State Broadcasting Corporation
33. Niger State Broadcasting Corporation
34. Gombe State Broadcasting Corporation
35. Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation
36. Lagos DSB
37. Osun State Broadcasting Corporation
38. Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation
39. Ondo State Broadcasting Corporation
40. Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation
41. Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation
42. Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation
43. Imo State Broadcasting Corporation
44. Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation
45. Borno State Broadcasting Corporation
46. Yobe State Broadcasting Corporation
47. Sokoto State Broadcasting Corporation
48. Zamfara State Broadcasting Corporation
49. Kebbi State Broadcasting Corporation
50. Jigawa State Broadcasting Corporation
51. Kaduna State Broadcasting Corporation
52. Katsina State Broadcasting Corporation

 

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NBC Shuts Down AIT, Silverbird, Others

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Full List Of 52 Stations Shut By NBC

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has shut down the African Independent Television (AIT), Silverbird Television and broadcasting corporations run by various state governments.

The NBC which ordered that these stations should stop their operations within the next 24 hours disclosed that they are owing debts amounting to at least N2.6 billion.

The Director-General of the NBC, Balarabe Ilelah, disclosed this to journalists at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

According to the NBC, all the television and radio stations affected must halt operations in the next 24 hours.

READ ALSO: NBC Queries Channels TV Over Inciting Interview With Ortom

He noted that the stations owe a total of N2.6 billion; adding that some of the stations affected have not renewed their licences since 2015.

“This is the first batch, there are those who have not renewed their licences since 2015, 2016 and 2017. We are asking them to come and pay their licence fees,” he said.

He warned that all stations that have not renewed their licences should do so in 30 days to avoid sanctions.

 

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After EFCC Hunt For Tompolo, Buhari Awards Him N4b Monthly Pipeline Surveillance Contract

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After EFCC Hunt For Tompolo, Buhari Awards Him N4b Monthly Pipeline Surveillance Contract

After the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declared Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo wanted some years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari has awarded him a pipeline surveillance contract.

The former militant leader was the Commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).

The deal is described as a renewal as Tompolo got a similar deal during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited agreed to engage Tompolo to end illegal bunkering, illegal refining and oil theft in Niger-Delta communities.

It is a reversal of the initial stance which saw the cancellation of the contract months after President Buhari assumed office.

According to a source close to Tompolo, the current deal is worth over N4billion monthly.

“Before the cancellation of his contract, the arrangements he put in place tackled illegal bunkering and increased production quota to over two million barrels per day.

“But the new government cancelled the contract, declared him wanted and he was later exonerated of all wrongdoings.

READ ALSO: Tompolo Gives Govt Ultimatum On NDDC Board, Accuses Akpabio Of Undermining Agency

“They have realised the need to bring him back because currently, the country is losing over 500,000 barrels per day to illegal bunkering”, he said.

The new deal was brokered by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and top NNPC top officials, including the Group Executive Director, Upstream, Adokiye Tombomelye.

After the signing, Tompolo presided over a meeting in his Oporoza home in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State, on Wednesday.

In attendance were ex-presidents of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Chris Ekiyor, Udengs Eradiri and Eric Omare

Others were priests of Egbesu, Ijaw religious organisation, led by Apostle Bodmas Kemepadei; leaders of Niger Delta youth groups, heads of cult groups.

The rest were former MEND commanders – Eris Paul, aka General Oguboss; Pius Wareyal, aka General Pius; Joshua Macaiver, Pastor Reuben Wilson, Young Shall Grow – and second phase “generals”.

In 2016, the EFCC declared Tompolo, wanted.

The anti-graft agency in an advertorial signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it declared Tompolo wanted following two bench warrants issued against him by a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he had been charged with N45.9bn fraud.

In the said advertorial which carried a photograph of Tompolo, the EFCC described him as a 47-year-old, dark-complexioned man from Okerenkoko, Gbaramotu Kingdom in the Warri South-West Local Government Area.

 

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