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Boxer Leon Spinks defeats Larry Holmes for title

Source: Bob Riha Jr / Getty


The boxer known for his gapped-tooth grin who went toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali in 1978 and shock the world has died.  Leon Spinks was 67.  The former heavyweight champion had been suffering from prostate and other cancers.  The Saint Louis native won a gold medal as a light heavyweight in the Montreal Olympics in 1976.  Thirteen months later, Spinks would step into the ring with an aging, 36-year-old Ali and took him to the 15-round limit to win the fight by decision.

This turned out to be the highlight of Spinks’ career, who would later be stripped of the WBC title for not defending it, and then lost the WBA title to Ali in a rematch.