"The Spinks Jinx"
Michael Spinks was one of the greatest boxers of his generation, winning world titles in two different weight classes during his career that spanned over 11 years, from 1977 to 1988.
Spinks began his professional career in 1977 with a first-round knockout of Eddie Benson in Las Vegas. He went on to win 30 consecutive fights after the debut, including 21 knockout wins, establishing himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport.
In 1981, after only 16 professional fights, Spinks fought Eddie Mustafa Muhammad for the WBA light-heavyweight title, winning via a 15-round unanimous decision. This win made him the light-heavyweight champion of the world, and he went on to become a two-time undisputed light-heavyweight world champion, winning six world titles at two different weight classes.
Spinks had a record of 31-1 in his professional boxing career, with his first defeat coming at the hands of Mike Tyson via a first-round knockout in 1988.
Spinks was known for his powerful punches and excellent footwork, which allowed him to dominate his opponents in the ring. He was also known for his ability to adapt to his opponent's tactics, making him one of the most versatile boxers of his time.
Standing at 6 ft 2+1⁄2 in (189 cm) with a reach of 76 in (193 cm), Spinks fought in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight weight classes during his career, using his strength and athleticism to great effect.
Spinks fought a total of 32 times during his professional career, putting on great performances in each fight. These 8 fights can be considered the highlight of his career:
- July 18, 1981: Spinks wins his first world title, defeating Eddie Mustafa Muhammad via a 15-round unanimous decision to become the WBA light-heavyweight world champion.
- March 18, 1983: Spinks beats Dwight Muhammad Qawi via a 15-round unanimous decision to become the undisputed light-heavyweight world champion by holding the WBA, WBC, and The Ring light-heavyweight world-champion belts.
- February 25, 1984: Spinks wins his third world title, beating Eddie Davis via a 12-round unanimous decision to hold the WBA, WBC, The Ring, and IBF light-heavyweight world-champion belts.
- February 23, 1985: Spinks defends his WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring light-heavyweight world-champion belts against David Sears, winning via a 3rd round TKO.
- June 6, 1985: Spinks defends his WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring light-heavyweight world-champion belts against Jim MacDonald, winning via an 8th round TKO.
- September 21, 1985: Spinks moves up to the heavyweight weight class and defeats Larry Holmes via a 15-round unanimous decision, winning the IBF and The Ring heavyweight titles.
- April 19, 1986: Spinks defends his IBF and The Ring heavyweight titles against Larry Holmes, winning via a 15-round split-decision.
- September 6, 1986: Spinks defends his IBF and The Ring heavyweight titles against Steffen Tangstad, winning via a 4th round TKO.
After his successful amateur career which culminated in his Olympic gold medal win in the middleweight division at the 1976 Summer Olympics, Spinks started his professional career with a win over Eddie Benson, knocking him out in one round on April 16, 1977 in Las Vegas.
In 1978, Spinks won two fights, including an eight-round decision over former world middleweight title challenger Tom Bethea in the same undercard where his brother Leon dethroned Ali as the world heavyweight champion in Las Vegas.
Spinks continued his ascent towards the top in 1980, beating future IBF super-middleweight champion Murray Sutherland, David Conteh, Ramon Ronquillo, and Alvaro Yaqui Lopez (who challenged for a world title four times).
In 1981, Spinks won his first world title, defeating Eddie Mustafa Muhammad via a 15-round unanimous decision to become the WBA light-heavyweight world champion. He successfully defended his title once in '81, beating Vonzell Johnson by a knockout in seven.
In 1983, Spinks beat Dwight Muhammad Qawi via a 15-round unanimous decision to become the undisputed light-heavyweight world champion. He defended his title once more in '83, beating Oscar Rivadeneyra by a 10-round knockout.
In 1985, Spinks beat David Sears and Jim McDonald, both by knockout, in title defenses, before challenging Larry Holmes for the IBF and lineal heavyweight championship. Spinks won a controversial and narrow 15-round unanimous decision, becoming the first-ever world light-heavyweight champion to win the world heavyweight title.
In 1986, Spinks defended his heavyweight title twice, winning a rematch against Holmes via a 15-round split decision and beating Steffen Tangstad via a 4th round knockout.
Spinks was stripped of his crown by the IBF in 1987 for refusing to fight their mandatory challenger, Tony Tucker, and accepting a higher offer to fight Gerry Cooney instead. Spinks knocked out
Michael Spinks Fight Record
|32||Jun 27, 1988||31||Mike Tyson||Loss||KO1|
|31||Jun 15, 1987||30||Gerry Cooney||Win||TKO5|
|30||Sep 6, 1986||30||Steffen Tangstad||Win||TKO4|
|29||Apr 19, 1986||29||Larry Holmes||Win||SD|
|28||Sep 21, 1985||29||Larry Holmes||Win||UD|
|27||Jun 6, 1985||28||Jim MacDonald||Win||TKO8|
|26||Feb 23, 1985||28||David Sears||Win||TKO3|
|25||Feb 25, 1984||27||Eddie Davis||Win ⭐️||UD|
|24||Nov 25, 1983||27||Oscar Rivadeneyra||Win||TKO10|
|23||Mar 18, 1983||26||Dwight Muhammad Qawi||Win ⭐️||UD|
|22||Sep 18, 1982||26||Johnny Davis||Win||TKO9|
|21||Jun 12, 1982||25||Jerry Celestine||Win||TKO8|
|20||Apr 11, 1982||25||Murray Sutherland||Win||TKO8|
|19||Feb 13, 1982||25||Mustafa Wassaja||Win||TKO6|
|18||Nov 7, 1981||25||Vonzell Johnson||Win||TKO7|
|17||Jul 18, 1981||24||Eddie Mustafa Muhammad||Win||UD|
|16||Mar 28, 1981||24||Marvin Johnson||Win||KO4|
|15||Jan 24, 1981||24||Willie Taylor||Win||TKO8|
|14||Oct 18, 1980||24||Yaqui Lopez||Win||TKO7|
|13||Aug 2, 1980||24||David Conteh||Win||TKO9|
|12||May 4, 1980||23||Murray Sutherland||Win||UD|
|11||Feb 24, 1980||23||Ramon Ranquello||Win||TKO6|
|10||Feb 1, 1980||23||Johnny Wilburn||Win||UD|
|9||Nov 24, 1979||23||Marc Hans||Win||TKO1|
|8||Dec 15, 1978||22||Eddie Phillips||Win||KO4|
|7||Feb 15, 1978||21||Tom Bethea||Win||UD|
|6||Oct 22, 1977||21||Gary Summerhays||Win||UD|
|5||Sep 13, 1977||21||Ray Elson||Win||KO1|
|4||Aug 23, 1977||21||Jasper Brisbane||Win||TKO2|
|3||Jun 1, 1977||20||Joe Borden||Win||KO2|
|2||May 7, 1977||20||Luis Rodriguez||Win||UD|
|1||Apr 16, 1977||20||Eddie Benson||Win||TKO1|