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Thread: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

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    Default How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Compiled an amateur record of (93-7)
    Won the 1974 Light Middleweight (156 lb.) National Golden Gloves Championship.
    Made it to the finals of the 1975 National AAU, losing to Tommy Brooks
    Won the 1976 Middleweight (165 lb.) National Golden Gloves Championship in Miami, Florida.
    Won the Middleweight Gold Medal for the United States at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    The guy beat everybody until Tyson blew him out in 38 seconds. Stopped Holmes from tying Marciano's 49-0 record. Beat Holmes in the rematch. Knocked out a much bigger Gerry Cooney.

    Spinks is one of the few top fighters who left the sport of boxing with both a decent amount of money and being seemingly unharmed, free of permanent injuries and never returned to the ring. Aside from a rare event honoring him and occasionally attending fights, Spinks has largely remained off the boxing scene and out of the public eye.

    Questions:

    1. How would he have fared against Evander Holyfield?

    2. Are his 2 wins over Holmes AS MEANINGFUL AS Roy Jones or James Toney winning the HW titles?

    3. Where does he belong in the historical rankings?


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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    That was a good link not seen those knockouts and Spinks in action before. He looks very awkward and unorthodox when he fought.

    1. Evander Holyfield would have beaten him at Cruiserweight and above.

    2. Spinks "wins" against Holmes are more meaningful than Roy Jones and James Toney's winning the Heavyweight as his was against the best champion in the division at the time. Larry was at the end of his career but still better than Ruiz.

    3. Spinks was undisputed light heavyweight champion and became the first to win the heavyweight crown after many many boxers in history had tried but failed. At light heavyweight he should be up there with the greats like Archie Moore and Ezzard Charles.
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Quote Originally Posted by Master View Post
    That was a good link not seen those knockouts and Spinks in action before. He looks very awkward and unorthodox when he fought.

    1. Evander Holyfield would have beaten him at Cruiserweight and above.

    2. Spinks "wins" against Holmes are more meaningful than Roy Jones and James Toney's winning the Heavyweight as his was against the best champion in the division at the time. Larry was at the end of his career but still better than Ruiz.

    3. Spinks was undisputed light heavyweight champion and became the first to win the heavyweight crown after many many boxers in history had tried but failed. At light heavyweight he should be up there with the greats like Archie Moore and Ezzard Charles.
    I agree with all of this. Just to piggyback/add:
    1. Holmes was better than Ruiz, BUT, Roy and James won more decisively (I thought Holmes was robbed) and they both started at 154/160 so they were MUCH smaller men.
    2. Spinks cleaned out 175 so he is an ATG, but I rank him behind Ezzard Charles (my #1 175 pounder ever) and Archie Moore (maybe). Michael Spinks was awkward but effective.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Take all that on board, but 2 similar but slightly different questions.
    1. Who wins at LHW ? Michael Spinks or RJJ ?
    2. Prime v prime , Michael Spinks or RJJ ?
    Former Undisputed 4 belt Prediction champion. Still P4P and People’s Champion.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Quote Originally Posted by Primo Carnera View Post
    Take all that on board, but 2 similar but slightly different questions.
    1. Who wins at LHW ? Michael Spinks or RJJ ?
    2. Prime v prime , Michael Spinks or RJJ ?
    Good questions, make you think hard, as it is an interesting matchup which has so many dynamics and factors at play.

    1. Michael Spinks wins at light heavyweight as he was a ATG at the weight and would do whatever it takes to get the win. He would adapt and adjust to whatever Roy Jones brings and be better.

    2. Prime v prime and pound for pound Roy Jones was a god of boxing and he was the best I have ever seen. He was untouchable at middleweight and supermiddleweight against quality boxers. At light heavyweight it was just his resting ground where he was content to pick up the titles after playing some basketball.
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    1. Head to head would be an interesting fight. Spinks is the naturally larger man, and he was awkward. Roy was equally awkward but in a more aesthetically pleasing and athletic way. Spinks beat better competition at 175, but Roy toyed with those he faced, meaning he had plenty that he never had to show (until the rematch with Montell and first Tarver fight). Head to head I will lean slightly to Roy- he didn’t hit as hard here (outside of Hill’s ribs and the Montell rematch) but he could still crack and his speed was on another level. I don’t see Spinks bullying him like he would haVe to do to win.

    2. Historically it is easier (in my mind) to rank them. Spinks is higher at 175 due to cleaning out the division, and Roy is higher in a P4P sense for his 175 reign plus everything else he did outside of that.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    I rate Michael Spinks highly. Obviously much higher than his flash-in-the-pan brother Leon.

    It's only that Michael had no business being at heavyweight... and had the misfortune of coming up to face one of the most feared heavyweights of all time, in Mike Tyson.

    What followed was a slaughter.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    michael is one of the best light heavyweights of all time & he challenged himself at heavyweight
    Apply shame. Apply fame. The crook and the flail.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Spinks was a great boxer, but Tyson was an animal. Spinks may have won against Evander or Lewis, because styles makes fights. But guys like Tyson and Bowe would have killed him...
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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    It's a shame really that the Tyson annihilation is the forever cloud over Spinks successful run to heavyweight and sort of eclipses what he had accomplished prior. You get the feeling he didn't want to be there at all and had already reached his ceiling physically and mentally. Even though the Holmes W's deserve huge asterisks they ran it back in what ? six months and Spinks competed and notched rounds at the highest level. I'd place Spinks hvy title as and more meaningful than Toney-Jones title wins but Toney technically screwed himself out of actually claiming one. And lineal meant something then, now we just count trinkets like a squirrel hoards nuts. On Holyfield I don't see Spinks beating him at cruiser or heavy though cruiser would have been massive. But the physicality inside and speed was more than matched by Holyfield who packed more pop on the combos and would prove to walk through some of the biggest punchers we've known when he was in top form.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Spinks was a superb fighter, whose legacy will forever be tainted by the single loss on his register.

    Always fit, always ready, he had an excellent amateur career and was completely dominant at the weight (when there was quite a bit of talent staying at light-heavy in those days)

    Hugely awkward, with a unique herky-jerky style that was such a conundrum for opponents to try and figure out. He topped that off with a thudding and accurate right hand that contained enough power to knock out gigantic heavyweights.

    Spinks created genuine history by being the first LHW to conquer the heavyweight division, after some seriously great fighters had failed. Homes was ageing, but still a very serious threat to anyone. It says how highly Spinks was regarded when he was widely seen as the only credible challenge to a peak young Tyson.

    He was blown away by Iron Mike, no question about it. I remember watching the fight ...... the first knockdown was Spinks thinking clearly under pressure and taking a knee to buy himself a bit of time. Very clever. The second was 'goodbye'.

    He retired after the Tyson fight and never came back. A great legacy, a shame that people only remember his last fight and not the Olympic Gold, wins over Qawi, Mustafa Muhammad, Davis and 10 successful title defences.

    Up there with Moore and Charles in the debate about the greatest ever LHW. Comparing him to Holyfield is slightly unfair because a) they are naturally of different sizes and b) Evan Field was juiced to his eyeballs.
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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    @X and primo question?
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    1. Who wins at LHW ? Michael Spinks or RJJ ?
    2. Prime v prime , Michael Spinks or RJJ ?


    At Light Heavy, I think Spinks beats Jones 8 times out of ten. Too big (Jones was naturally a much smaller guy, and Ruiz was one of the worst heavyweights to ever hold a title). Jones used his physical gifts and freakish talents to figure people out and time them, and i'm not sure that would have worked against Spinks' herky jerky and very awkward style. Spinks would have been too solid for Jones at LHW.

    At SMW, Jones wins because Spinks was just too big to boil down to that weight division effectively.

    Prime v prime - I'm not sure how to answer it, as it is size based. If they were both exactly the same size, I'm finding it hard to pick against Jones as he was such a freak of nature.
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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    Quote Originally Posted by X View Post
    1. Who wins at LHW ? Michael Spinks or RJJ ?
    2. Prime v prime , Michael Spinks or RJJ ?


    At Light Heavy, I think Spinks beats Jones 8 times out of ten. Too big (Jones was naturally a much smaller guy, and Ruiz was one of the worst heavyweights to ever hold a title). Jones used his physical gifts and freakish talents to figure people out and time them, and i'm not sure that would have worked against Spinks' herky jerky and very awkward style. Spinks would have been too solid for Jones at LHW.

    At SMW, Jones wins because Spinks was just too big to boil down to that weight division effectively.

    Prime v prime - I'm not sure how to answer it, as it is size based. If they were both exactly the same size, I'm finding it hard to pick against Jones as he was such a freak of nature.
    Great point of Spinks’ awkwardness being difficult for Roy to time. RJ’s speed and reflexes vs Spinks’s size and awkward rhythm would’ve been really interesting. Now you have me reconsidering my original pick of Roy winning the head to head match up…

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    Default Re: How good was Michael Spinks? 31-1 with 21 KOs

    I loved the interview with Larry Holmes, when asked what the outcome of Spinks v Tyson he said this -

    " Spinks Jinx there's nothing to it, and the whole world knows he won't do it.
    He will run around the ring for a few rounds, but Mike Tyson will run him down "!

    Spinks great LHW , not a great HW/


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