St. Louisan and former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks dies at 67

On Feb. 15, 1978, St. Louisan Leon Spinks, who emerged from the projects, rose to the top of the boxing world with a shocking 15-round, split-decision victory over reigning heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a championship bout held at the Las Vegas Hilton, one of the last championship bouts to be aired (by NBC) on over-the-air television. Spinks, the 1976 light-heavyweight champion at the Montreal Summer Olympics, was thought to have little chance to unseat Ali, even an out-of-shape one who came into the ring that night. But Spinks, who had had only seven pro bouts, showed more craft than h…

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