MIAMI — Jose Ribalta knocked former world champion Leon Spinks down three times before their heavyweight mismatch was stopped 2:10 into the first round Saturday night.
Ribalta, 24-4 with 17 knockouts, was fighting before a hometown crowd at the Coconut Grove Exhibition Center. In addition to the knockdowns, Spinks slipped to the canvas once and was pulled down once in a sloppy round of boxing.
The finishing blow was a right hand, delivered as Spinks was on his way down again. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
Spinks, a St. Louis native who trains in Detroit, is 17-7-2 with 11 knockouts. The 1976 Olympic gold medalist shocked the boxing world by beating Muhammad Ali for the undisputed heavyweight title in February 1978, but Ali won it back in a rematch later that year.