Leon Spinks, former heavyweight boxing champ, dies at 67

Written by on February 6, 2021

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Boxing legend Leon Spinks died on the age of 67 on Friday night time close to his residence in a Henderson, Nev. hospital after battling with prostate most cancers for a number of years, in line with household buddy Joe Bernal.

The previous Marine rocketed to worldwide fame in 1978 when he beat Muhammad Ali in a cut up choice to earn the undisputed world heavyweight title in what was thought-about one of many largest upsets in boxing historical past.

Spinks’ gap-toothed smile grew to become his trademark as he burst on the scene as an newbie. Preventing alongside his brother Michael and a charismatic mild welterweight by the identify of Ray Leonard, they grew to become most profitable U.S. Olympic boxing group in historical past.

All three fighters received gold on the 1976 Summer time Video games, as did countrymen Howard Davis and Leo Randolph. Teammates Charles Mooney received silver and John Tate bronze.

Contemporary off his Olympic success, Leon Spinks turned skilled the next yr. In simply his eighth professional bout, he squared off towards the legendary Ali for the undisputed heavyweight title.

Spinks, then 24, pulled the upset in a cut up choice to win the title. Nevertheless, he misplaced a rematch with Ali seven months later by unanimous choice.

He had yet another heavyweight title struggle – in 1981 – however misplaced to Larry Holmes in a third-round TKO.

Spinks retired in 1995 with a report of 26-17-3. He was named to the Nevada Boxing Corridor of Fame in 2017.

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