Leon Spinks cancer that has spread to his bladder.

Leon Spinks, the one-time heavyweight champion boxer, is suffering from prostate cancer that has spread to his bladder, his wife told USA TODAY Sports Thursday by text message.

Spinks, 66, was diagnosed in May and on Christmas Eve discharged from a Las Vegas hospital, according to Brenda Spinks, who said the boxer has returned to the couple’s home in Henderson, Nevada.

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He will resume cancer treatment on an outpatient basis, Brenda Spinks said.

“It’s going to be a long road and a lot of work,’’ Brenda Spinks said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports. “But we are bound and determined for the Champ to make a comeback!!!’’

Spinks, famous for his gap-toothed grin, won the undisputed heavyweight world championship in 1978 when he stunned the sports world by defeating Muhammad Ali by split decision. He won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal as a light heavyweight and he finished his pro career with a record of 26-17-3 (14 KO’s.)

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Brenda Spinks said the boxer first was hospitalized Aug. 21. He had been home only once, over Veteran’s Day weekend, before returning home now.

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Noting the “tremendous amount of support” the retired boxer has received, the statement said, “We are very thankful for the outpouring of loving thoughts and prayers worldwide. This amazing positive power has helped set Leon headed in the right direction.”



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