Michael Spinks, generally considered among the greatest light heavyweights of all time, celebrates his 60th birthday today.
Fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri, Spinks fought from April 16, 1977, taking out Eddie Benson by first-round TKO at the Aladdin in Las Vegas, to June 27, 1988, when he got knocked out by Mike Tyson in the first at Atlantic City’s Convention Hall, the one and only loss of his career. Spinks wound up with a record of 31 wins, 21 by knockout, and that one kayo loss.
“Jinx” won the WBA World light heavyweight title by beating Eddie Mustafa Muhammad via unanimous decision at the Imperial Palace Hotel in Vegas on July 18, 1981. Following five successful title defenses, he became undisputed champ by beating Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBC World light heavyweight title via unanimous decision at Atlantic City’s Convention Center on March 18, 1983. He became the first IBF World light heavyweight champ by beating Eddie Davis via unanimous decision at Atlantic City’s Resorts International on February 25, 1984.
Spinks vacated all his light heavyweight titles following his win over Larry Holmes by unanimous decision at the Riviera Hotel & Casino’s Outdoor Arena in Vegas on September 21, 1985, seizing the IBF World heavyweight title and becoming lineal heavyweight champ in The Ring‘s Upset of the Year. As Spinks held his light heavyweight titles at the time of the Holmes defeat, he became the first light heavyweight champ to win the heavyweight title.
Stripped of his title on February 26, 1987, because he opted to fight Gerry Cooney (stopping him by fifth-round TKO at the Convention Center that June 15) instead of IBF mandatory challenger Tony Tucker, Spinks faced Tyson in the hopes of winning his WBA, WBC, and IBF World heavyweight titles.
Following the loss at 1:31 of the first, by a knockout that can best be described as “definitive,” Spinks retired from the ring on July 27, 1988. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.