Former Heavyweight Champion Leon Spinks Passes Away

The boxing world has lost former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks.

Spinks passed away this past Friday in Henderson, Nevada. He was battling prostate cancer. Spinks was 67 years old.

On July 11, 1953, Spinks was born in St. Louis, Missouri. It didn’t take long for Spinks to enter the world of boxing and find success in it. At the 1976 Summer Olympics, “Neon” became the light-heavyweight gold medalist. He defeated Sixto Soria of Cuba to win the gold.

It only took Spinks eight bouts to capture gold again, this time as a professional. On February 15, 1978, Spinks stunned Muhammad Ali to capture the WBA, WBC, and The Ring Heavyweight Titles. Spinks was defeated by Ali in their rematch seven months later.

Spinks never found the same success that he did against Ali going forward. With that said, Spinks did contend one more time for the WBC and The Ring Heavyweight Titles as well as the WBA Cruiserweight gold. He fell short in those bouts.

Spinks ended his pro boxing career with a record of 26-17-3. He earned 14 of those victories by way of knockout.

In August 2017, Spinks joined his brother Michael in the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Spinks’ son, Cory is a former undisputed welterweight champion and IBF Junior-Middleweight titleholder.

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