[Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks I, tape #3]

This tape is footage from the final rounds of the February 15, 1978 bout between World Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali and challenger Leon Spinks in Las Vegas. 36-year-old Ali was defeated by the 24-year-old Spinks.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a black screen.

00:08Copy video clip URL Cut to the final seconds of Round 12 in a boxing match between World Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali and challenger Leon Spinks. It’s been quite an exciting match so far. Both men are very tired and are desperately trying to win the bout.

00:36Copy video clip URL The bell sounds and round 12 is over. We follow Ali and Spinks as they sit down in their corners. Spinks is tired, but confident, sitting upright and attentive to his manager’s pep talk. Ali however, slumps in his chair. His strength is obviously beginning to wane. Ali’s brother, Rockman Ali, walks up to Ali’s corner to give his brother a pep talk. A few short seconds later, the bell sounds. Round 13 is underway.

01:36Copy video clip URL The two make their way to the middle of the ring and begin the fight. Ali stays very light on his feet, circling the ring. Spinks keeps a more rigid stance in the middle of the ring, waiting for the right time to make his next move. The announcers emphasize that the fight is very close, but seem pessimistic about the prospect of Ali coming out on top. The two grapple and and throw smaller blows at one another throughout the round. Spinks slowly begins to go on the attack as Ali becomes more fatigued. The bell sounds as both men walk back to their corners. At this point, both men are exhausted. Ali stands in his corner with his head down, seemingly beginning to realize that if he doesn’t win the next round, he may not win the fight. Audience members begin to chant his name as the bell sounds for the 14th round.

05:21Copy video clip URL The two come out of their corners with a little more pep than the last round. Knowing what’s at stake, Ali does his best to get the job done, but Spinks has a strong second wind with several good punches on Ali. Ali spends a good amount of time in the ropes and corners while Spinks gives it his all. In the final seconds of the round, Ali is stuck in Spinks’ corner taking a barrage of punches from the young 24-year-old, but ends up nailing him with a few strong jabs before the bell sounds.

08:23Copy video clip URL Cut to a commercial break.

09:11Copy video clip URL Cut back into the beginning of the 15th round. The two men touch gloves and begin to fight. The two desperately try to gain the energy to fight on. Ali is pinned into Spinks’ corner and takes a few blows before nailing Spinks with a few right hands. The tides begin to turn as Ali gets Spinks on the ropes. However, Spinks pulls through and nails Ali with a number of heavy-handed shots. The crowd goes wild as the two battle. The rest of the round see-saws back and fourth as the two become frustrated with each other’s determination. However, it is Spinks who seems to come out on top at the end. Even before the winner is announced, Spinks and his team are see celebrating in the middle of the ring. He just may be the new World Champion.

13:39Copy video clip URL The ring announcer states that there is a split decision. The crowd boos as it is apparent that Spinks has won the fight. The ring announcer reads the judges’ scores and declares that Leon Spinks the new Heavyweight Champion of the world. Spinks’ crew hoists him up in celebration as the crowd cheers.

14:53Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



  1. Todd Drummond says:

    At that point in time boxing was at the peak of its profession. There were so many big names. Muhammad ali, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas the Hitman Hearts, Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson and many many more. Now boxing has fizzled out because there is no more big name fighters anymore. Now they’re trying to promote cage fighting. It won’t ever take the place of boxing during the 80s.

  2. Todd Drummond says:

    When l think of boxing history there are 2 fights that stand out in my mind. One was the greatest fight l ever saw between Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler. And the other was a remarkable unbelievable knock out in the final round with 2 seconds left. After surviving a brutal beating for 11 rounds by Meldrid Taylor, Julio Cesar Cheavis not only survived an horrible beating but he also landed a hard right hand that knocked Taylor out. To retain his title and up his record to 67 and 0.

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