Former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks has died aged 67.
The American achieved a famous upset win over Muhammad Ali in 1978, in just his eighth professional fight.
Spinks’ management firm said in a statement that he died on Friday evening with his wife Brenda Glur Spinks
by his side, and with ‘only a few close friends and another family’ allowed to be present due to coronavirus
restrictions. Tributes have flooded in for the American who competed between 1977 and 1995.
President of the World Boxing Council Mauricio Sulaiman tweeted: “Rest in peace, Leon Spinks.
“Olympic medalist, Pan American medalist, and of course, WBC heavyweight champion.”
WBC lightweight champ Devin Haney posted “RIP Leon Spinks.”
American US boxing manager Lou DiBella tweeted: “Rest In Peace, Neon Leon, a heavyweight champion
and a nice man.
“Condolences to @MikeSpinksjinx and the Spinks family. Rest In Peace and Power, Leon Spinks.”
Spinks served in the United States Marine Corps, who he proudly represented when he won a gold medal in the
1976 Montreal Olympics.
But he cemented his place in boxing history on February 15, 1978, in Las Vegas, Nevada, when he pulled off
one of the biggest upsets in history by beating Ali to become the undisputed world heavyweight champ.
Leon entered that fight with only seven prior professional fights, weighing only 197 pounds and being
outweighed by over 25 pounds.