Leon Spinks, The Former Heavyweight Champ Who Beat Muhammad Ali, Is Dead

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Leon Spinks, boxer and heavyweight champion, best known for defeating Muhammad Ali in 1978, has died at age 67.

Spinks lost his five-year battle with prostate and cancers Friday evening, his publicist announced.

“At time of his passing his wife Brenda Glur Spinks was by his side. Due Covid restrictions, only a few close friends and were present,” statement read.

“Leon fought his battle with numerous illnesses resiliently, never losing his trademark . Showing true Spinks determination, he never threw in towel.” it added

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Spinks represented the United States during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, as a light heavyweight and won a gold medal.

He then faced Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 15, 1978, shockingly defeating Ali become the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion.

It was his eighth bout and of the greatest upsets in boxing history.

Ali beat Spinks when they met again seven months later at the Superdome in New Orleans and reclaimed the heavyweight title.

Spinks retired in 1995 with a 26-17-3 with 14 knockouts. In 2017, he was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.