Leon Spinks

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Name: Leon Spinks
Alias: Neon Leon
Born: 1953-07-11
Birthplace: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 1″   /   185cm
Reach: 76″   /   193cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainers: Sam Solomon, George Benton, Emanuel Steward
Managers: Mitt Barnes, Butch Lewis
Leon Spinks Gallery

Contents

Amateur Career

  • Amateur Record: 178-7
  • 1974 National AAU Champion (178 lbs)
  • 1974 Bronze Medalist (178 lbs) at the World Championships in Havana, Cuba. Results:
    • Jacob Odong (Uganda) KO 1
    • Nasley Thompson (Jamaica)/Mohamed Saoud (Morocco) WO
    • Oleg Karatayev (Soviet Union) RCS by 3
  • 1975 National AAU Champion (178 lbs)
  • 1975 Silver Medalist (178 lbs) at the Pan American Games in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 1976 National AAU Champion (178 lbs)
  • 1976 Gold Medalist (178 lbs) at the Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Results:


Preceded by:
D.C. Barker
National AAU
Light Heavyweight Champion

1974-1975-1976
Succeeded by:
Larry Strogen
Preceded by:
Mate Parlov
Olympic Gold Medalist
Light Heavyweight Champion

1976
Succeeded by:
Slobodan Kacar


Professional Career

On February 15, 1978, with a record of 6-0-1 and just 31 rounds as a professional boxer, Spinks won the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship with a shocking fifteen-round split decision victory over the legendary Muhammad Ali. The fight was named Upset of the Year and Fight of the Year by The Ring. Spinks also received The Ring Progress of the Year Award.

On March 18, 1978, the WBC stripped Spinks of their title for choosing to give Ali a rematch instead of defending the title against Ken Norton, the WBC #1 contender. Spinks remained the WBA champion.

On September 15, 1978, Ali regained the WBA title with a lack-luster decision.

On August 29, 2001, Spinks, age 48, made his last known appearance in a boxing ring when he boxed a four-round exhibition with Rick Wilson for charity in Chicago.

Regional Titles

NABF Cruiserweight Championship (1982)

WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship (1985)

Life After Boxing

Spinks worked as a greeter at Mike Ditka's restaurant in Chicago after retiring in 1988. He returned to the ring in 1991 and retired for good in 1995. Spinks made in excess of $5 million during career but ended up broke. He was homeless for a while and lived in shelters. In recent years, Spinks, who now suffers from dementia pugilistica, has lived in Columbus, Nebraska, working as a weekend custodian at a YMCA, sometimes unloading trucks at McDonald's, and volunteering to help the homeless. [1]

Notes

Leon Spinks is the brother of former Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Michael Spinks, father of the late Leon Calvin and former Welterweight and Junior Middleweight Champion Cory Spinks, and the grandfather of Leon Spinks III.

Spinks served in the United States Marine Corps from 1973 to 1976.


Preceded by:
Muhammad Ali
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1978 Feb 15 – 1978 Sep 15
Succeeded by:
Muhammad Ali
Preceded by:
Muhammad Ali
WBC Heavyweight Champion
1978 Feb 15 – 1978 Mar 18
Stripped
Succeeded by:
Ken Norton


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