According to reports, former boxing heavyweight Leon Spinks has passed away. The news was revealed by the Firm PR, who represents the former heavyweight champion.
Spinks reportedly was dealing with prostate cancer along with various other forms of cancer for the past five years and died with his wife—Brenda Spinks, by his side, according to Firm PR.
Spinks was a former Marine who bested his way to a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics as a light heavyweight boxer. Spinks’ rise came when he was only eight fights into his career as a professional boxer when he faced off against Muhammad Ali. Spinks was able to go 15 rounds with Ali before eventually taking the title from Ali via a split decision. Spinks’ story found him going through tribulations in his career, as he was stripped of the WBC title after he refused to defend the belt to a top contender named Ken Norton.
Spinks fought Ali again in a rematch, where Ali beat him for the WBA title in a unanimous decision. Spinks went on to retire from professional boxing in 1997 at the age of 42. The late boxer went on to be inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017.