When the Spinks & Klitschko Brothers Were Heavyweight Champs!

By Boxing News - 10/18/2023 - Comments

By Ken Hissner: Twice in the history of the heavyweight division, a pair of brothers held the world heavyweight title. Former 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist ‘Neon’ Leon Spinks, 6-0-1, won the WBC and WBA Heavyweight titles, defeating Muhammad ‘The Greatest’ Ali, 55-2, on February 15, 1978, at the Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada by split decision. It was Ring Magazine’s ‘Upset of the Year’.

Spinks chose to defend his title against Ali in a rematch instead of the No. 1 contender, Ken Norton, and was stripped of the WBC title. The WBC awarded Norton, 39-4, the title due to his split decision win over Jimmy Young, 22-5-2, in a WBC eliminator on November 5, 1977. In his first defense, he lost his title to Larry ‘The Easton Assassin’ Holmes, 27-0.

On September 21, 1985, former 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist and Light Heavyweight champion Michael ‘Jinx’ Spinks, 27-0, defeated Holmes, 48-0, for the IBF title. In April of 1986, he won a disputed split decision over Holmes in their rematch.

In the rematch for the WBA title, Leon Spinks lost to Ali by decision at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, before 63,350 in attendance in September of 1978.

Michael Spinks, after defeating Holmes in the rematch, he stopped Steffen Tangstad, 23-1-2. He was stripped of his title for not fighting No. 1 contender Tony ‘TNT’ Tucker. In June of 1987, he stopped Gerry Cooney 28-1, listed as a world heavyweight title at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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In June of 1988, he was stopped by WBA and WBC champion ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, 34-0, and retired.

Now let’s take a look at the Klitschko brothers when they held the heavyweight title.

On June 26, 1999, Vitali ‘Dr. Ironfist’ Klitschko, 24-0, knocked out WBO champion Herbie ‘Dancing Destroyer’ Hide, 31-1, at the London Arena. After two successful defenses, he was stopped by Chris Byrd, 30-1, due to a shoulder injury.

On April 24, 2004, Klitschko stopped Corrie ‘The Sniper’ Sanders, 39-2, for the vacant WBC title at the Staples Center in L.A., CA. He would go on to defend his title eleven times before retiring.

Vitali’s brother, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Wladimir ‘Dr. Steel Hammer’ Klitschko, 27-0, defeated Byrd some six months after Byrd stopped his brother Vitali on October 14, 2000. After five defenses, he was stopped by Corrie ‘The Sniper’ Sanders, 38-2, on March 08, 2003.

On April 22, 2006, Wladimir stopped Chris Byrd, 39-2-1, for the IBF title. Four fights later, he added the WBO title, defeating Sultan Ibragimov 22-0-1. After a total of eighteen title defenses, he lost to Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury, 24-0, in Germany on November 28, 2015.

There you have it when the Spinks brothers and the Klitschko brothers held world titles.