Ex-champ Spinks ready to return
Cory Spinks is among a number of former champions who will be back in the ring soon.
Spinks, the son of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, is a former undisputed welterweight champion. He also held the IBF light-middleweight title.
His last fight was in June last year. Now he is set to return to action on January 28. He will fight Sechew Powell in Springfield, Missouri.
The fight is billed as an IBF junior middleweight title eliminator. Spinks has a record of 38-6, including 11 knockouts. Powell’s stands at 26-3, with 15 knockouts.
Carl Froch, who lost his WBC super-middleweight belt to Andre Ward in December last year, is negotiating to fight IBF champion Lucien Bute in Montreal on April 14.
British super-featherweight champion Gary Buckland will defend his title against Paul Truscott on March 24.
Ian Napa, a former British and European bantamweight champion, has retired. The 33-year-old was born in Zimbabwe but lives in Hackney, England. He retired because he has a cataract in his left eye.
SA junior flyweight champion Luzuko Siyo has relinquished his title. The 21-year-old from Duncan Village near East London hopes to move on to the international scene.
THE LAST BELL
Frank Middleton, a former trainer at the Sheffield Amateur Boxing Club, died at the age of 90 shortly before Christmas.
Middleton was a coach for 60 years, training boxers at Southey Boys Club, Hillsborough Boys Club, St Thomas’ Gym, St Vincent’s Boxing Club and the Sheffield Boxing Centre.
Michael Murray, 47, who once challenged for the British heavyweight title, died on Christmas day.
Born in Preston, England, Michael made his professional debut in 1988 when he lost on points over four rounds against John Fury.
Among the fighters he met were Carl Gaffney, Markus Bott, Mike Holden and Julius Francis. In 1993 he was stopped in five rounds by Herbie Hide in a challenge for the British heavyweight title.
Well-known referee Eddie Eckert died on January 7. Eckert, from Florida in the United States, refereed for 34 years before retiring in 1995.
He handled fights in which top-class boxers appeared, among them Willie Pep, Cleveland Williams, Jimmy Ellis, Michael Dokes, Alexis Arguello, Tim Witherspoon, Leon Spinks, Wilfredo Benitez, Vincente Rondon, Mike Quarry, John Mugabi and Terry Norris.
Eckert was inducted into the Florida Hall of Fame in 2011.
A headstone has been placed on the grave of Eddie Cool, who died at the age of 35 after appearing in 139 professional fights. The grave at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Philadelphia.was unmarked for 64 years.
Cool beat world champions such as Frankie Klick, Fritzie Zivic and Lou Ambers.
Other former boxers who died last year were Virgil Akins, Wayne Bethea, George Benton, George Cooper and his brother Henry, Billy Costello, Bongani Dlamini, Coert Fourie, Joe Frazier, Shorty Smook, Scott Le Doux, Genaro Hernandez, Ron Lyle, Gary Mason, Tom McNeely, Happyboy Mgxaji, Mike Pusateri, Gulio Rinaldi, Lionel Rose and Des Williams.
Former British, Empire and European heavyweight champion Henry Cooper, who died in May last year, left an estate of £747 098 (more than R9 million) to his two sons. It includes his house in Hildenborough.
Cooper suffered big losses on the insurance market in the early 1990s and was forced to sell his three Lonsdale belts.