He was an Olympic champion with few professional fights when he surprised the world in 1978 by defeating the champion After that, things didn’t go smoothly anymore

Leon Spinks, who scored one of the biggest surprises in boxing when he defeated Muhammad Ali to capture the heavyweight championship in February 1978, but lost his crown in a rematch seven months later and never found fame in the ring again, died on Friday night in Henderson, Nev. He was 67 years old

His death in a hospital was announced by his wife, Brenda Glur Spinks, in a statement released by the family’s public relations representatives.His family announced in December 2019 that he was due to prostate cancer treatment that was on his Bladder had spread, had been hospitalized

Spinks came into view when he won the Olympic gold medal in the light heavyweight division and his brother Michael won gold in the middleweight division at the 1976 Montreal Games

Leon had only fought professionally seven times, with six wins and one draw, before taking on Ali at the Las Vegas Hilton on February 15, 1978, in a bout arranged by Bob Arum, one of boxing’s foremost promoters became

Ali held the titles of the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council. But while he was an overwhelming betting favorite at 36, he was past his prime. He weighed 224 pounds for Spinks 197?

Spinks was a highly competitive racket, but when he pressured Ali in the ring, the champ resorted to his rope-a-dope strategy, which aimed to exhaust an opponent with punches that rarely did damage, while Ali was resting on the ropes

“Jab, Jab, Jab, that was the plan” Spinks’ trainer, George Benton, said afterwards in the locker room. Hit him on the left shoulder with that thrust all nightâ ????

Ali gathered in the 15th Round, but Spinks fended him off and won a split decision

By the end of the fight, Ali had purple bruises above and below his right eye. His forehead was swollen near his left eye and blood was dripping from his lower lip

A few days after the fight, Spinks appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and flashed a familiar smile

The World Boxing Council stripped Spinks of his heavyweight title for refusing to defend himself against Ken Norton, its challenger-designate, and gave Norton the crown

Ali had envisioned a rematch with Spinks and promised to “keep moving”, not get on the ropes, to be in better shape ???? The strategy worked

In September 1978, Ali regained his WBONE title, defeated Spinks in a unanimous decision at the Louisiana Superdome around 63 years ago000 spectators This time he tied up Spinks when he attacked him, and he danced and pushed like old Ali

Larry Holmes held the heavyweight crown of the World Boxing Council until 1981. Spinks challenged him in June and lost in a technical knockout in the third round. He faced Dwight Muhammad Qawi, the WB.A 1986 cruiserweight champion lost a technical knockout in the ninth round

His career was largely in decline by this point, and he had built a reputation for partying in the middle of his education

Before the Holmes fight, Sam Solomon, who was Spinks coach at the beginning of his professional career, recalled the weeks in the Catskills when Spinks was preparing for his first Ali fight

“He would go to bed at night and turn his music box on really loud and lock his door,” Solomon told the New York Times the only way I could find him was to follow his tracks in the snow a ???? This time, as Ali would soon find out, the escapade didn’t hurt his chances

Spink’s last fight took place in December 1995 when he lost a unanimous decision to Fred Houpe in an eight-round bout. Spinks was 42; Houpe was 45 and had not fought since November 1978

Leon Spinks Jr was on 11 July 1953 in St Louis, the eldest of seven children from Leon and Kay Spinks, who separated as children. The family was poor and the neighborhood was harsh. He would tell of severe beatings from his father

As a frail youth suffering from low blood pressure and asthma, Leon became a target of bullies

At the age of 13 he started working in a St. The Louis fitness program was designed to keep teens off the streets. He dropped out of high school in his junior year, joined the Marines, participated in their boxing program, and blossomed as an amateur in pre-Montreal games fights

Spinks had a largely unstable life after retiring from the ring, saying he had lost the money he made and he had traveled the country looking for jobs he could find At 52, he made a stopover in Columbus, Ind, where he worked as a YMC.A custodian and unloaded McDonald’s trucks

Spinks fathered three sons with a friend, Zadie Mae Calvin, who grew up in his neighborhood

One son, Cory, became a welterweight champion, and another, Darrell, had 19 professional fights. His son Leon Calvin, who used his mother’s last name, won two professional fights before being on the run in a car from when he was 19 a party in St. Louis, who had become violent, Leon Calvin’s son Leon Spinks III fought in 16 professional fights

In addition to his wife, sons Corey and Darrell, his grandson and brother Michael, seven other Spinks siblings survive: Karen Shanklin, Leland Spinks, Evan MacDonald, Eddie Brooks, Charles Spinks and Lionel Spinks and Patricia Spinks

The night he dethroned Ali, said Spinks, he used the adversities of his childhood to summon the strength to endure

“My dad went around telling people I would never be anything,” Sports Illustrated quoted him as saying it hurt me, I never forgot. I decided to be someone in this world no matter what price I pay had to, I would achieve somethingâ ????

Leon Spinks

World news – USA – Leon Spinks, boxer who took and lost Ali’s crown, dies at the age of 67

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/06/sports/leon-spinks-dead.html