Boxing

Judah Turns Tables On Spinks to Win Undisputed Welterweight Title, Barrett Registers Hard-Fought TKO Over Beck

06.02.05 - photos: Tom Casino / Showtime: Before a record crowd for an indoor arena and millions more watching on SHOWTIME, Zab "Super" Judah won the WBA/WBC/IBF welterweight title with an impressive ninth-round TKO over defending champion Cory "The Next Generation" Spinks Saturday on SHOWTIME. In an excellent co-feature between boxers ranked in the top 10 in each of boxing's four major governing bodies, Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett scored a ninth- round TKO over previously undefeated Owen "What The Heck" Beck in a scheduled 12-round heavyweight elimination bout. The telecast, which aired at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast) from the Savvis Center, was promoted by Don King Productions..

Judah (33-2, 1 NC, 24 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., ruined the homecoming of Spinks in front of 22,370 who turned out to watch their local hero. In a terrific, determined performance, Judah dropped Spinks with a big left hand at around the two-minute mark of the ninth. A groggy Spinks beat the count and tried to continue, but Judah continued to land punches and the referee stepped the bout at 2:49. After eight completed rounds of the grudge rematch, Judah was ahead by the scores of 79-73, 78-78 and 77-75. Judah, a former two-time world champion at 140 pounds, fought more aggressively and tried to press the action throughout. He said he would be willing to box Spinks a third time.

Spinks (34-3, 11 KOs), of St. Louis, won the initial battle of world- class, major league southpaws with a unanimous decision on April 10, 2004, in Las Vegas. He dictated the pace in the first fight, but fought more defensively in the rematch. Still, Spinks, who was naturally bigger and stronger than Judah, boxed beautifully until getting caught with a perfect shot. In a bout that seemed closer than the scores reflected, the son of Leon and nephew of Michael Spinks lost the final four rounds on two of the three scorecards.

Barrett (31-3, 16 KOs), of Hackensack, N.J., by way of Queens, N.Y., and Greenville, N.C., decked Beck three times before the bout was stopped at 2:52 of the ninth. He floored Beck the first time in the second and twice more in the ninth. Barrett, who entered the bout ranked No. 3 in the WBC, No. 4 in the WBO, No. 6 in the WBA and No. 7 in the IBF, was cut over the left eyelid from an unintentional head butt in the fourth. Barrett led on two of the scorecards (77-74 and 76-75) and was behind on the other (75-76) heading into the ninth. In his previous start, Barrett defeated previously unbeaten Dominick Guinn. Barrett 7-1 in his last eight.

Beck (24-1, 18 KOs), of Nashville, Tenn., fought hard and landed his fair of good shots, but his lack of experience cost him as he appeared to falter down the stretch. Beck had knocked out his past four opponents within three rounds and had only been past the fifth round three times in his career. Going into the bout, Beck was ranked No. 4 in the WBC and WBA, No. 7 in the WBO and No. 10 in the IBF.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING's Steve Albert and Al Bernstein called Saturday's action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast was Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins, Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.

The next SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast is Saturday, March 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). In a pair of potentially explosive matchups that will be shown during SHOWTIME's FREE PREVIEW WEEKEND, World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo (51-6-1, 45 KOs) defends against former International Boxing Federation (IBF) 135-pound champion Julio "The Kidd" Diaz (30-2, 22 KOs) and undefeated Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy 18-0, 14 KOs) risks his IBF super middleweight crown against once-beaten Rubin "Mr. Hollywood" Williams 26-1, 15 KOs).

Immediately preceding the scheduled 12-round world title fights on March 5 will be ONE NIGHT ONE STAR USHER LIVE. The multi-award-winning recording artist and superstar, Usher will burn up the stage with the concert event of the year from San Juan's Coliseo de Puerto Rico. From Friday, March 4, through Monday, March 7, SHOWTIME will offer a free preview weekend for viewers nationwide.

For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and "ShoBox: The New Generation" telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.

Article posted on 06.02.2005



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