1978-02-15 Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks I 7-8





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Published on Feb 4, 2008

Hilton Pavillion, Las Vegas. 15th February, 1978.

The 1976 Olympic Heavyweight Champion Leon Spinks was a rookie professional with just five fights and a manager called Butch Lewis behind him.

Muhammad Ali was first cool on taking the fight but then figured out an angle to sell the fight. Ali, himself an Olympic Champion, had beaten all the other gold medalists of his era; namely Floyd Patterson (1956), Joe Frazier (1964) and George Foreman (1970). The raw and ill-disciplined Spinks offered Ali the chance to beat another olympic champion.

Ali did not really train for the fight with the rumour being that he only sparred twenty rounds in preperation. Still, Ali should have been able to handle Spinks. But, the pattern of Ali's most recent fights was repeated. Ali lay on the ropes while the challenger built up a lead.

But when Ali later went to the well he found it empty for the first time in his career. He could not erode the early lead built by Spinks and could not engineer a stopage. Adrenaline and the thought of beating Ali carried Spinks through

The champ summoned something for the last round and drove Spinks into the ropes, but it was not enough. Ali lost a split decision, which appeared a little kind to the beaten champ.

FOTY 1978- Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks I 7-8 1978-02-15 : Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, USA : Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali by SD in round 15 of 15
World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (Ali defending)
World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (Ali defending)
Referee: Davey Pearl
Judges scoring: Lou Tabat (145-140 Spinks), Harold Buck (144-141 Spinks), Art Lurie (143-142 Ali)
Weights: Spinks 197.25 lbs, Ali 224.25 lbs (more)

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