It has always been this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile’s opinion that the only way that a world champion boxer should lose his crown….is by being soundly defeated by the challenger for the title….either by KO, TKO or a fight that went the distance where the Champ was either knocked down 2 or 3 time….or when the Champ had a badly swollen, bruised and cut face at the end of a fight that went the distance….while the challenger had no visible signs of a beating received….thus indicating that the challenger obviously won the fight.
On September 21, 1985…some 32 years ago….one of heavyweight boxing’s longest reigns as world champion came to a controversial end, as light-heavyweight ruler Michael Spinks moved up in weight and challenged then heavyweight king Larry Holmes….in a fight that took place at The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas….as 35-year-old Larry “The Easton Assassin” Larry Holmes met 29-year-old Michael “The Jinx” Spinks….and put on a fight that was later called the 1985 upset of the year.
Most experts felt the much bigger and harder-hitting heavyweight champion…. who was making his twenty-first defense of his championship….would be able to handle Spinks….despite the light-heavyweight ruler being the younger, fresher and faster man….as no fighter in boxing history had been able to move up from being the light-heavyweight champion and grab the heavyweight championship ….and the odds going into the fight said Spinks would not change things.
Indeed, there was a real sense of boxing history in the air that September night in 1985….for if Holmes won….his professional record would have gone to 49-0 ….which would thus tie the beloved Rocky Marciano’s legendary numbers. But it was Spinks with his “Jinx” that wound up going into the record books….as he shocked Holmes and the odds by pulling off a highly controversial 15-round unanimous decision victory….in a fight that there were no knockdowns….as neither fighter ever looked like they were even close to being KO’d….in a fight that was fought at a good pace which was exciting and engrossing to watch.