leon spinks*Former boxing icon Leon Spinks is fighting a personal battle following a second operation for abdominal problems.

The Associated Press reports the 61-year-old boxer is currently recovering from the surgery in a Las Vegas hospital. The operation was necessary after Spinks suffering complications from the first emergency surgery, according to his wife Brenda.

“It’s going to be a long road ahead, but he’s strong and he’s starting to recover,” Brenda Spinks told the AP.

Although she doesn’t know how long her husband will be hospitalized, Brenda Spinks mentioned that she is optimistic about his recovery.

“There were complications after his first surgery, but everything has been fixed,” she said.

Best known for beating Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title in 1978, Spinks rose to fame after he and his brother Michael both won Olympic gold medals in 1976 in different weight classes. The two would later go on to become heavyweight champions

After just seven pro fights, a shot at Ali and the heavyweight title came on Feb. 15, 1978. The AP noted that despite the odds being against him, Spinks relied on his energy and awkward style to frustrate Ali and win a 15-round split decision at the Las Vegas Hilton. Seven months later, Spinks’ championship reign ended as Ali regained the title in a rematch in front of more than 60,000 people at the New Orleans Superdome.

Spinks tried to regain the title in in 1981 against Larry Holmes but was defeated in the third round. Although he never became heavyweight champion again, Spinks continued fighting until 1995. He ended his career with a record of 26-17-3. In addition to boxing, Spinks was known for mixing partying with training.

Spinks, who was also known for slurring his words, moved to Las Vegas in 2011 after working as a custodian at a YMCA upon moving to Nebraska. In 2012, he was diagnosed with shrinkage in his brain, which doctors said was likely caused by the punches he took during his career, the AP reported.

Regarding Spinks’ current situation, his friend, singer Tony Orlando took to Twitter to voice his feelings ask people to pray for the boxer, saying that Spinks. was “facing the greatest fight of his life.”

And of course you can’t talk about Leon Spinks without recalling the hilarious , classic comedy bit the late, legendary Richard Pryor did on the one-time boxing champ.

The one where he parodied Spinks by saying, “I aint got nothing to lose, I aint got no money, I aint got no teefus …” Lawd have mercy, it’s still a hoot after all this time. Check it out below:

(Boxing Icon Leon Spinks Hospitalized For Abdominal Problems)