Black Sports : R.I.P. LEON SPINKS

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Kemetstry

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Former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks died Friday night at the age of 67 following a five-year battle with prostate cancer and other cancers, according to multiple outlets.
Leon Spinks wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Boxing legend Leon Spinks dies at 67
© Leon Spinks on May 6, 2016 in Nevada. (Getty) Boxing legend Leon Spinks dies at 67
The Nevada Hall of Fame boxer passed Friday night with his wife, Brenda Glur Spinks, by his side.
"Due to Covid restrictions, only a few close friends and other family were present," a statement obtained by CNN read.
The boxing legend became a household name after beating Muhammad Ali in 1978.
Spinks has dealt with multiple cancer diagnoses over the years, including one for prostate cancer in 2019.
His unexpected victory is considered one of the sport's biggest upsets to date, as it was only his eighth professional fight at the time, according to USA Today.
Among his many accomplishments, Spinks represented the United States in the 1976 Olympics, winning a gold medal. Throughout his career, Spinks fought 72 professional fights. In 1995, he retired from the sport with a 26-17-3 record with 14 knockouts, according to CNN.




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Discerning

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When Leon and his brother, Mike, both won at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, it was special. Because their mother, Kay Spinks, got to see them win in person.

From the August 1976 Sports Illustrated:

"At home in St. Louis, Kay Spinks had watched her sons' Olympic bouts on TV. The set was borrowed and not working very well. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried a story on her plight. The next day an anonymous benefactor in Webster Groves, Mo. called the paper.

"That woman deserves to be there to see her sons fight for the gold medal," he said. "I'll pay all her expenses."

"I felt like someone had just given me a diamond ring," said Mrs. Spinks. "God bless them. God bless them."

END SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SNIPPET
 

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