On this Day in Boxing: Michael Spinks vs Larry Holmes

Published on 19 April 2023 at 09:11

Michael Spinks is a celebrated former American professional boxer who had a remarkable career in the boxing ring. Known for his speed, agility, and counterpunching skills, Spinks was one of the most dominant light-heavyweight boxers of his time. He achieved many significant accomplishments in his career, including a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and an impressive record of 31 wins (21 by knockout) and only one loss.

However, it was his second victory over the legendary Larry Holmes on April 19, 1986, that cemented his legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time. The fight took place at the Las Vegas Hilton, Nevada and was one of the most anticipated matches of that year.

The first time these two boxers met was in 1985, where Spinks defeated Holmes in a decision to become the first light-heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight championship in over a century. Many doubted whether Spinks would be able to defend his title against the former champion, but he once again proved his doubters wrong by winning the rematch via unanimous decision.

Spinks utilized the same strategy he employed in the first fight, relying on his superior speed and quick reflexes to fend off Holmes' attempts to clinch or trap him against the ropes. He also showed excellent defensive skills, slipping and dodging Holmes' punches and using his footwork to stay out of harm's way.

Even though Holmes put up a great fight, Spinks' performance earned the judges decision. This was a split decision which did little to legitimize Spinks and erase doubts of collusion that Holmes was robbed in the first fight to preserve Rocky Marciano's unmatched 49-0 record  His win over Holmes made him one of the few undefeated heavyweight champions in history.

Spinks' career spanned over a decade, during which he fought some of the best boxers of his time, including Gerry Cooney, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, and Mike Tyson. However, his fights against Larry Holmes will always be remembered as some of the greatest matches in boxing history.

Michael Spinks retired from boxing in 1988, after being bullied by Mike Tyson,  leaving behind an impressive legacy that still inspires new generations of boxers. His style, skills, and accomplishments in the ring are a testament to his dedication and passion for the sport. The second victory via decision over Larry Holmes on April 19, 1986, was a defining moment in his career and will always be remembered as one of the greatest achievements in boxing history.

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