Leon Spinks died in Las Vegas hospital

Boxing legend, Olympic gold medalist and former U.S. Marine Leon Spinks died in a Las Vegas hospital.

‘Dear Friends,’ Brenda Glur Spinks wrote on Facebook. ‘I know it’s been awhile. It’s been a tough year for us. Leon has endured a lot of medical problemsbut unfortunately didn’t make it I’m reaching out to ask you to kindly pray for my Beautiful Husband Leone.

Leon Spinks was an American former professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1995. In only his eighth professional fight, he won the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1978 after defeating Muhammad Ali in a split decision, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. Spinks was later stripped of the WBC title for facing Ali in an unapproved rematch seven months later, which he lost by unanimous decision.

Besides being heavyweight champion and his characteristic gap-toothed grin (due to losing two and later all four of his front teeth), Spinks gained notoriety for the disaster which befell his career following the loss to Ali. However, he did challenge once more for the WBC heavyweight title in 1981 (losing to Larry Holmes by TKO in the third round), and the WBA cruiserweight title in 1986 (losing to Dwight Muhammad Qawi by TKO in the sixth round).