His son Cory Spinks held the undisputed welterweight title and was the International Boxing Federation Junior Middleweight champion in 2006 – 2008. Their Olympic teammates included Sugar Ray Leonard Leo Randolph and Howard Davis Jr. When his brother Michael Spinks defeated Larry Holmes in a controversial upset for the IBF heavyweight championship in 1985 they became the first brothers to have held world heavyweight championships.
Prior to turning professional Spinks won a bronze medal at the inaugural 1974 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Havana. However he was stripped of the WBC title for fighting Ali in an unapproved rematch 7 months later which he lost by a 15-round unanimous decision. In only his eighth professional bout Spinks won the undisputed world heavyweight championship when he beat Muhammad Ali on February 15 1978 in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.