Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mike Birmingham, who trained St. Pete boxers Winky Wright and Jeff Lacy, dies at 49

ST. PETERSBURG — Mike Birmingham, who with his brother Dan at the St. Petersburg Boxing Club trained hundreds of fighters over more than 20 years, including former undisputed light middleweight champion Winky Wright and super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy, died Sunday. He was 49.

Birmingham followed his brother to St. Petersburg in the mid-1970s. He trained a 9-year-old named Jeff Lacy from the time he walked into the gym, and later served as a cut man and conditioning coach.

He grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and earned a reputation as scrappy, if undersized, fighter. An an amateur boxer, he started in the lightweight classes but eventually worked his way up to heavyweight.

"Mike was always the toughest kid in class, the toughest kid on the block and one of the nicest kids," said brother Dan Birmingham, 57. "He was the one who beat the bullies up."

He was fond of his black Labrador, Buddy, and took him for walks on Sunset Beach several times a day. After not seeing Birmingham walking the dog for a few days, a neighbor checked on him Sunday and found Birmingham on the floor in his apartment.

The Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy, but has not determined the cause of death.

— Andrew Meacham, Times Staff Writer

Mike Birmingham, who trained St. Pete boxers Winky Wright and Jeff Lacy, dies at 49 08/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg council sets millage rate in first budget hearing

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council set the millage rate and gave initial approval to Mayor Rick Kriseman's $538 million budget at Thursday night's hearing.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman talks about the state of the city on Tuesday, two days after Hiurricane Irma passed through the state. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. How many more people would lack coverage under Cassidy-Graham? We can guess


    WASHINGTON — It's safe to say the new Obamacare rollback measure toward which the Senate is charging would mean fewer Americans have health coverage. Exactly how many is unclear. Some argue it could be more than 22 million people. Others say it could be fewer.

  3. Woman's decomposed body found near St. Petersburg railroad tracks


    ST. PETERSBURG — A woman's body was found near the railway tracks behind an empty building at 3100 38th Ave. N, according to St. Petersburg police.

  4. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  5. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).