Photo credits: Tim Chapman/Getty Images
Leon Spinks Jr. (pictured) has reportedly passed away at 67 years of age.
According to ESPN via the Firm PR agency representing him, Spinks died of prostate cancer after the disease spread. His wife Brenda, other close family members, and good friends were with him in his final days.
Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali in 1978 and became the world heavyweight boxing champion. He was born on July 11, 1953 in St. Louis, Missouri. Spinks discovered his passion for boxing while serving in the United States Marines Corps.
“Leon became a fixture about town, always accompanied by his trademark smile,” a press release announcing Spinks’ death reads.
“He loved spending time with friends and family, attending concerts and local shows, dining at local restaurants and signing autographs and memorabilia for fans at Inscriptagraphs and Field of Dreams on the Las Vegas strip,” the release also says.
Spinks competed professionally as a boxer from 1977 to 1995. After defeating Ali, he ended up losing to him in a rematch seven months later. Spinks continued to fight heavyweight until the early 1980s. Following this period, he merged into the cruiserweight division (Meara, 2021).
Overall, Spinks won 46 of his 72 fights over the course of his professional career.
Reference: Meara, P. (2021, February 06) Leon Spinks Jr., Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Dead At 67. Retrieved from https://www.bet.com/news/sports/2021/06/leon-spinks-jr-heavyweight-boxing-champion-dead.html