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Leon Spinks, Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Dies Aged 67

by : Julia Banim on : 07 Feb 2021 09:07
Leon Spinks, Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Dies Aged 67PA Images

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Leon Spinks has died at the age of 67.

The American boxer had suffered health issues in his later years and had been battling advanced stage prostate cancer as well as other cancers.

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It’s understood that Spinks passed away on the evening of Friday, February 5, in Henderson, Nevada. His wife Brenda Glur Spinks had been by his side, alongside a few other friends and family members.

As per BBC News, a statement from Spinks’ management company read:

His final fight was fought with the same skill, grace and grit that had carried him through so many lifetime challenges.

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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An Olympic gold medallist, Spinks famously shocked the boxing world after beating Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight title in 1978, in what was just his eighth professional fight.

Spinks had been unranked at the time of the upset, and had been chosen as an opponent only because Ali had been looking for an easy fight.

Speaking on Saturday, as per AP, promoter Bob Arum said:

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It was one of the most unbelievable things when Ali agreed to fight him because you look at the fights he had up to then and he was not only not a top contender but shouldn’t have been a contender at all.

Arum added: ‘He was just an opponent but somehow he found a way to win that fight.’

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Boxing, Sport

Credits

BBC News and 1 other
  1. BBC News

    Leon Spinks: Ex-heavyweight champion who shocked Muhammad Ali dies aged 67

  2. AP

    Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks dies at 67