Cory Spinks Rises from Deck to Decision Deandre Latimore for IBF 154-Pound Belt
By Thomas Gerbasi, (April 25, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
It was a gritty effort from an older and wiser Cory Spinks Friday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, one that resulted in another IBF junior middleweight championship belt for him as he rose from a first round knockdown to score a 12 round split decision over fellow St. Loo native Deandre Latimore.

Scores were 115-112, 114-113, and 112-115 for Spinks

The two came out fast, with Spinks scoring nicely with a couple of hard right hands that were answered by power shots from Latimore that got the crowd roaring. As the round approached the midway mark, a eft hand dropped Spinks to the canvas and Latimore moved in for the kill. Spinks didn’t shy away from exchanges after rising though, and he seemed to have his legs back under him by the end of the round.

Spinks remained in the pocket to begin the second, and Latimore responded by drilling him with another wild left. Latimore was not trying to make it pretty – he was just winging haymakers, even leaving his feet at times to do so. Given Latimore’s power, it was up to the 31-year old Spinks to outwork the 23-year old, but it just wasn’t happening.

The first 30 seconds of the third saw Spinks going back to his jab, and he tossed in the occasional left to keep Latimore guessing as he finally seemed to be settling into a groove that carried over into the fourth round. Latimore remained busy, mixing in his haymakers with more pitty-pat punches on the inside.

Spinks was cut over the left eye in the fourth, and the blood really started flowing in the fifth under Latimore’s assault.

Latimore seemed to be the more tired of the two in the sixth, and Spinks took advantage with short shots from close range as the crowd chanted his name.

The seventh was close, with both men having their moments, but it was Spinks regaining control in the eighth and ninth frames as he potshotted Latimore while standing mere inches away from the power-hitting ‘Bull’.

By the end of the ninth, Latimore had his own cut over the left eye, and in the tenth he showed a little more urgency, and was even able to catch Spinks with some solid power shots as the two traded to the bell.

There was more of the same in the 11th, as Latimore made a run in his first trip to the championship rounds, but Spinks, a familiar visitor to such territory, refused to go away quietly as he finished the fight strong in the 12th frame and sealed the victory.

With the win, Spinks improves to 37-5 with 11 KOs; Latimore falls to 19-2 with 16 KOs.

In the ShoBox co-feature, junior welterweight up and comer Devon Alexander improved to 18-0 with 11 KOs with a ninth round knockout of Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez. In control from the start, Alexander was steady yet unspectacular en route to victory, with the end coming when Rodriguez (19-4, 5 KOs) took a knee for the second time in the fight in the ninth round, this one for a ten count at the 58 second mark.

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