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Leon Spinks, boxing legend who beat Muhammad Ali, dead at 67

Former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, best known for defeating Muhammad Ali in 1978, has died at the age 67.

Posted: Feb 6, 2021 6:27 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2021 6:34 PM

Former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, best known for defeating Muhammad Ali in 1978, has died at the age 67, according to a statement from his publicist.

Spinks lost his five-year battle with prostate and other cancers on Friday evening.

"At the time of his passing his wife Brenda Glur Spinks was by his side. Due to Covid restrictions, only a few close friends and other family were present," the statement read.

Spinks represented the United States during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, and won a gold medal.

He faced Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 15, 1978, winning in an upset to become the undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing champion.

Spinks fought 72 professional fights, winning 46 of them.

The statement continued with, "Leon fought his battle with numerous illnesses resiliently, never losing his trademark smile. Showing true Spinks determination, he never threw in the towel."

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