April 20, 1986 Michael Spinks Retains Title With Split Decision Against Larry Holmes

April 20, 2020

Michael "Jinx" Spinks - Highlights & Knockouts - YouTube

Larry Holmes was an 8-5 favorite to beat heavyweight champion Michael Spinks. Spinks retained his International Boxing Federation heavyweight title winning a 15-round split decision from Holmes on April 20, 1986.

The 29-year-old Spinks fought a savvy fight, letting Holmes use up his energy in the early rounds and then won the fight from round eight to round fifteen. Spinks’ left hook landed repeatedly, and he outpunched Holmes at close quarters and long range.

Judge Jerry Roth scored the bout 144-142 for Spinks, and Judge Frank Brunette had it 144-141 for the champion. Judge Joe Cortez gave it to Holmes, 144-141.

Referee Mills Lane warned Holmes to stop the roughhouse tactics, as Spinks – looking very cool – told Lane: ”That’s O.K., ref. That’s O.K.”

Holmes won the first four rounds on all the judges’ cards, as he was consumed with a rage to get at Spinks. Spinks bided his time, and by the fourth round he was beginning to mix it up with Holmes.

Once the eighth round started that Spinks increased the tempo. He began landing punches time and again, as Holmes visibly slowed down.

Spinks outwitted the 36-year-old Holmes, catching punches on his gloves and twisting his upper body to elude Holmes’s blows or reduce their impact.

Spinks now has a record of 29-0 (19 knockouts). A 1976 Olympic gold medalist, he won his first professional title in July 1981 when he took a unanimous decision from Eddie Mustafa Muhammad for the World Boxing Association light-heavyweight title. Spinks unified the light-heavyweight division in March 1983 when he won a decision over Dwight Braxton, now known as Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

Holmes, who has a record of 48-2 (34 knockouts), won the World Boxing Council heavyweight title with a decision over Ken Norton in June 1978. Among the opponents he beat in subsequent title defenses were Mike Weaver, Earnie Shavers, Ali, Trevor Berbick, Leon Spinks, Renaldo Snipes, Gerry Cooney, Tex Cobb, Tim Witherspoon, Marvis Frazier, James Smith and Carl Williams. Julian Jackson Wins In an earlier bout, Julian Jackson, who is rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Council in the super welterweight division and No. 1 by the World Boxing Association as a junior middleweight, knocked out Pancho Del Toro at 2:05 of the second round of a scheduled 10-round match.

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