Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks dies at 67

Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks has died. He was 67.

Leon Spinks, right, connects with a right hook to Muhammad Ali, during the late rounds of their championship fight in Las Vegas on Feb. 15, 1978. (AP Photo/File)

Spinks passed away on Friday night after battling prostate and other cancers.

The 1976 Olympic gold medallist is perhaps best-known for his surprise win over Muhammad Ali to claim the heavyweight title in 1978 as an unranked boxer.

He would lose a rematch against Ali several months later, and continue to box into the mid-1990s before ending his career with a 26-17-13 record.

Spinks was born July 11, 1953, in St Louis, raised in poverty along with his brother Michael. After discovering boxing both brothers became top amateurs, culminating in the 1976 Olympics where Leon won the light heavyweight gold and Michael won the middleweight gold.