Leon Spinks

  Male      American      Athlete

  Born : Jul 11, 1953  

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Leon Spinks (born July 11, 1953) is an American former boxer, who had an overall record of 26 wins, 17 losses and three draws as a professional, with 14 of those wins by knockout. In only his eighth professional bout, Spinks won the undisputed world heavyweight championship when he beat Muhammad Ali on February 15, 1978, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. However, he was stripped of the WBC title for fighting Ali in an unapproved rematch seven months later, which he lost by a 15-round unanimous decision. Besides being heavyweight champion and his characteristic gap-toothed grin (due to losing two and later all four of his front teeth), Spinks gained notoriety for the disaster which befell his career following the loss to Ali.

Prior to turning professional, Spinks won a bronze medal at the inaugural 1974 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Havana. Two years later, he capped off his amateur career by winning a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, alongside his brother Michael Spinks, who won the gold at middleweight. Leon defeated Cuban great Sixto Soria in an entertaining slugfest where Spinks was rocked several times by the much more polished fighter but landed a crushing overhand right that put Soria face down on the canvas. His Olympic teammates included Sugar Ray Leonard, Leo Randolph and Howard Davis Jr. Spinks also served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps from 1973 to 1976...

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