Leon Spinks Passes Away

Former undisputed heavyweight champion Leon Spinks had passed away. Spinks who had been hospitalized since before Christmas had been battling various cancers over the last 5 years. If there was ever a fighter who captured lightning in a bottle it was Spinks. In only his 8th pro fight he was almost an unbettable underdog when he challenged Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title and came away with a deserved 15 round decision to win the heavyweight title in February 1978. Seven months to the day later he would lose the title to Ali in a rematch.

He would have one more shot at the heavyweight title but was stopped by Larry Holmes. He then moved down to cruiserweight but after losing two title shots his competitive career was essentially over. While he was the punchline to many a joke during his career, he was a beloved figure in retirement which is something I can attest to. At the Ring Magazine 75th anniversary weekend Leon was one of the most popular fighters in attendance with his infectious smile and approachability and became a fixture at any gathering of former fighters.

Leon was the brother of undisputed light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Michael Spinks and was the father of undisputed welterweight champion Corey Spinks making The Spinks' a boxing family name that will always find the name at the top of any such Boxing family lists.

Leon Spinks was 67 and passed away from complications of numerous cancers.

"Neon" Leon Spinks. Gone On