Showtime Shootout! Spinks-Judah II and Beck-Barrett
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (February 4, 2005)  
Zab Judah
Before we all tune into Super Bowl Sunday, there will be Saturday's Showtime Shootout when Cory 'The Next Generation' Spinks, 34-2 (11), puts his WBA/WBC/IBF welterweight titles on line against Zab 'Super' Judah, 32-2 (23), in a highly anticipated rematch. The two southpaws faced off last April in Las Vegas and after twelve rounds with both tasting the canvas Cory Spinks would reign as victor with a unanimous decision.

This time the fight will be on the champion's home turf and just to add to the excitement the event is just about sold out and will be featured Saturday night on Showtime. Does fighting in Spinks' hometown of St. Louis add any pressure on the twenty-six year old champ? Cory said he was going into this fight as any other fight but with it being in front of the hometown crowd just adds to the energy, but he is a smart fighter and will not let it get to him. Judah simply said the he is going into Spinks' backyard because he is from Brooklyn and that is what they do, and referred to his turf as the home of the taking state and he would finish Cory forever.

Judah, who is a former two-time 140-pound champion, started his career in 1996 and went on a twenty-seven fight win streak and had knocked out twenty-one of his opponents when he faced the 'Thunder form Down Under' Kostya Tszyu in the fall of 2001. Judah went down in round two from two massive right hands and after getting waved off by referee Jay Nady, Zab went into a rage and threw his stool across the ring and had to be restrained by the police and his corner. Judah was fined $75,000 and was suspended for six months after the transgression.

Spinks, who is the son of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, began in the pro ranks in 1997 and had beaten the likes of Michele Piccirillo, who had controversially defeated Cory eleven months prior to their rematch, and Ricardo Mayorga before he stepped in the ring with Zab Judah. The two punched away and Spinks dropped Judah in the eleventh and was well on his way to an easy victory when in the final round he was caught by a left cross and dropped. But he did enough to gain the W with the judges giving Cory the fight with 114-112,114-112 and 116-111 as the final scores. How will number two be played out? Well, just about a carbon copy of the first meeting I would think. Zab wants the win but with the craftiness of Spinks and his ability to run around for twelve rounds while picking off at Judah, I see another unanimous decision win for the champ.


Cory Spinks 12 round UD

In the co-feature Showtime will feature a fight that is just about as anticipated as the main event, when two top ten heavyweights ranked in the major bodies duke it out in the WBC and IBF heavyweight title eliminator.  In one corner you have the fight veteran Monte 'Two Gunz' Barrett, 30-3 (16), taking on the undefeated Owen 'What the Heck' Beck, 24-0 (18), who up to this point will be taking on his toughest test of his career.

Barrett has kayoed the likes of Jimmy Thunder and Mario Cawley but lost a close decision to Lance Whitaker and was completely dismantled by Wladimir Klitschko going down five times before getting TKO'd in round seven of their 2000 bout. But Barrett got noticed when he fought Joe Mesi in December of 2003. Monte lost the first half of the fight and was down in the fifth but came alive in the championship rounds and floored Mesi in the seventh only to get an L by majority decision. Three months later Barrett would get the go ahead over then highly touted heavyweight Dominick Guinn with a twelve round split decision win, but for the last eleven months has been inactive.  

A native of Jamaica, Owen Beck now calls Nashville, TN, home and has laid eighteen of his twenty-four opponents to sleep. His last four fights have ended in knockouts and haven't gone past the third round. At 3-0 Beck stepped in the ring with 11-0 heavyweight prospect Derrell Dixon and got the UD, and in Beck's second eight round bout he needed only four rounds to dispose of 30-5 Rogerio Lobo. In 2003 Beck stepped in the ring with 31-6 George Arias for the vacant WBA Fedelatin heavyweight title and won the twelve round decision, but up to this point he hasn't really faced an opponent at the level of Barrett. Monte confidently acknowledges that fact, and Owen accepts that as well, saying Barrett is the best fighter he has ever faced but has no doubt that he will pass this test and what the fans see they will be happy with.  

This fight was planned for last November but was abruptly held back. The two finally get to face one another and get their chance to show the heavyweight division that one of them is a true contender and will be a threat to the division. The question is, who will it be? Beck, who has fought guys under Barrett's level, has power and the skill to do the job but has hit the canvas twice in 2004 and got up both times to win by stoppage. He will have his hands full if he doesn't get Monte out early as he has only gone past round five twice, once went to the sixth the other the twelfth, whereas Barrett is accustomed to fighting the full distance. Monte is rough and tough but I think Beck will pass this test and make this fight his coming out party and let the boxing world know who just the heck is Owen Beck.


Owen Beck 6th round KO.
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