PHILADELPHIA -- Light heavyweight boxing champion Michael Spinks donned his tuxedo to appear in court and enter a guilty plea to an illegal weapons charge. He was fined $1,700.
Clad in a black tuxedo, Spinks, 26 pleaded guilty Monday before Municipal Judge Francis Cosgrove to possession of a .45 caliber revolver without a licence. He entered the plea after his attorney, James Binns, worked out a plea agreement with Assistant District Attorney Odell Guyton.
The judge followed the district attorney's recommendation no jail term be imposed and fined Spinks $1,700 and ordered him to pay $70 in court costs.
The maximum penalty for illegal possession of a gun is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
'I made a mistake,' Spinks said following the proceeding. 'I want to say to my fans and younger kids I'm not proud of this.
'I don't want to give the wrong impression to youths out there that carrying (a gun) around is something great.'
Spinks, who recently defeated Dwight Braxton to capture the World Boxing Council crown to go with his World Boxing Association title, was arrested Jan. 5 after police found the handgun in his car following a 25-block auto chase.
Spinks, however, denied there was a chase.
'I was driving and I saw flashing red lights maybe three blocks behind me,' Spinks said at the time of his arrest. 'I pulled over thinking it was an ambulance or something. They (the officers) didn't say anything to me. They just told me to get out of the car.
Two days after his arrest, Spinks' common-law wife, Sandra Massey, 27, was killed in a head-on collision.
Spinks said the gun was a present from a fan at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Police said the weapon was reported stolen in 1975 in Toronto, Canada.