Leon Spinks, Former heavyweight champion, who beat Muhammad Ali, dies aged 67

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Leon Spinks, who won Olympic gold and then shocked the boxing world by beating Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight title in only his eighth professional fight, has died aged 67 after a long battle with cancer.

Spinks passed away with only a few close friends and family present due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“Leon fought his battle with numerous illnesses resiliently, never losing his trademark smile,” a spokesperson said. “Showing true Spinks determination, he never threw in the towel.”

Spinks rose to fame by winning the light-heavyweight gold medal for the United States at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He shocked the boxing world just two years later when he defeated Ali in a split decision. It was only his eighth professional fight.

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