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Boxing at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Maurice Richard Arena, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 31, 1976
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: USA Leon Spinks
Silver: CUB Sixto Soria
Bronze: POL Janusz Gortat
ROU Costică Dafinoiu

Summary

The 1974 World Champion in this class was the Yugoslav Mate Parlov, who had won the Olympic gold medal in 1972. But he turned professional in 1975 and was not in Montréal. A bronze medalist from the 1974 Worlds was there, however, one Leon Spinks of the United States. An ungainly fighter with powerful hands, but seemingly little skill, Spinks made it to the final and entered the ring shortly after his brother, Michael, had won a gold medal in the middleweight final. In the final Leon met Cuba's Sixto Soria, who had not fought the distance in any bout in Montréal, winning his quarter-final and semi-final in the first rounds. But the final was no contest, as Spinks battered Soria all around the ring for three rounds, with the referee mercifully stopping the bout at 1:09 of the third. Soria would come back in 1978 to win the World Championship.

Leon Spinks turned professional after the 1976 Olympics, and after only seven fights, faced Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title, in what was considered to be a mismatch. Inexplicably, Spinks won a 15-round decision to become world champion, but in a re-match seven months later, Ali won easily, and Spinks had seen the best of his career. He fought through 1995, a punching bag near the end, ending with a professional record of 26 wins, 17 losses, and 3 draws. He later had a brief career as a pro wrestler, and then, his financial life in ruins, spent time on the streets as a homeless person. His son, Cory Spinks, also became a professional world champion.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Leon Spinks 23 United States USA Gold
2 Sixto Soria 22 Cuba CUB Silver
3T Janusz Gortat 28 Poland POL Bronze
3T Costică Dafinoiu 22 Romania ROU Bronze
5T Wolfgang Gruber 23 West Germany FRG
5T Juan Domingo Suárez 24 Argentina ARG
5T Robert Burgess 23 Bermuda BER
5T Ottomar Sachse 25 East Germany GDR
9T José Rosa 22 Puerto Rico PUR
9T Vilmos Jakab 24 Hungary HUN
9T Anatoliy Klimanov 26 Soviet Union URS
9T Georgi Stoimenov 24 Bulgaria BUL
9T Joan Claudi Montane 20 Andorra AND
14T Hocine Tafer 21 France FRA
14T Milosav Popović 23 Yugoslavia YUG
14T Abdel Latif Fatihi 25 Morocco MAR
14T Ernesto Sánchez 28 Venezuela VEN
14T Roger Fortin 24 Canada CAN