The Spinks Jinx Lives

By Tom Donelson
Updated: February 5, 2005
NEW YORK, NY—.Friday morning, I will be traveling down Iowa 218 and on the way to Saint Louis. The reason for my traveling to Saint Louis is to watch Jab Judah and Cory Spinks get it on one more time in Spinks’ hometown. Like all Don King Production, there are fights galore before the main event. Call it appetizers before the main course.

You have the IBF/WBC elimination fight between Owen “What the Heck” Beck and Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett. You can add Iowa’s giant Tye Fields fighting Ray Lunsford and undefeated Cincinnati junior Middleweight Robert Dula is on the card as well. And it is on Showtime as part of Showtime Saturday night’s monthly clashes.

Now let’s get to the fights themselves. All of Lunsford 21 fights have been held either in Mississippi or Memphis. At six foot, Lunsford might just be at a little disadvantage against the 6’9” Tye Fields. And when you throw in Lunsford 7 knock out in his 17 victories, don’t count on a repeat of Dempsey-Willard. Lunsford will not play Dempsey to Fields’ Willard. Fields has 29 knockouts in 31 fights but most of his fights have been held in the friendly confine of Iowa and neighboring states. Fields only lost was a first round knock out to Jeff Ford but Fields revenged that with a first one stoppage of his own. This will be quick entertaining fight between two fighters who till mostly in the Midwest against mediocre opponents. Fields wins early.

Last April, Eric Mitchell found himself fighting Ricardo Mayorga after the proposed Mayorga-Rivera fight collapsed. Mitchell started out fast against Mayorga but wilted as the fight progressed. Mayorga took the decision. Mitchell is your typical sparring partner, a tough fighter in the gym but never quite made it to the upper reaches of boxing top ten. Robert Dula is a 33 year-old undefeated prospect and now he is taking a step up. I like Mitchell bringing Dula his first lost.

For those who want to know who is Owen Beck, here are the two most important things to know. First, he is undefeated. Second, his manager is Carl King. Which is why he is ranked in some of the sanctioning bodies top ten. And he has knocked out his last four opponents. What he has yet to do is fight a top ten contender and this upcoming Saturday night, he does. Barrett is one of those fighters who has flirted with the elites and fought some of the best. He is experienced and knows that at 33, his time is running out. Beck zero will go and Barrett will strengthen his chances for a title shot. Call it experience over youth.

Which brings us to the main event. This fight is one of those pick em fights. In their last fight, Spinks boxing set the pace as he out maneuver Judah. Going in the last round, Spinks dominated the action but Judah nearly pulled out an upset as he knocked Spinks down.

This fight has the making of an exciting fight. Judah knows that he is fighting in the champ back yard and any close fight goes Spinks way. Both fighters have knocked the other down and both are excellent technician. Spinks is the naturally bigger man but not necessarily bigger puncher. Here is what I do like about Spinks. He gained the IBF title by outboxing Italian fighter Michele Piccirilla in Piccirilla’s backyard in Italy. He outsmarted Mayorga and out fought Judah in their first contest. The guy is cool under the spot light and that may be the key factor along with the fact, he is fighting at home. Judah will have to get inside against the taller Spinks and pound the body. Judah must play the aggressor and attempt to take the title. I like Spinks to win a decision but this will be a close fight between two superb technicians.