1984-02-25 Michael Spinks w pts 12 Eddie Davis, Resorts International Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD

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1984-02-25 Michael Spinks w pts 12 Eddie Davis, Resorts International Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD. Referee: Frank Cappuccino. Scorecards: 119-109, 115-114, 118-111. Although the cagey Davis (173½) presented the champion with plenty of problems he lacked the firepower to take the title by storm, ultimately going down on points. In the early rounds Spinks (172) had difficulty with Davis’ movement and was unable to get his punches off properly, but by the sixth he was beginning to find the target. Davis continued to make life tough for Spinks, who had been cut over the left eye in the fourth, and even forced the fight in the last two sessions. However, Spinks, who always landed the better quality punches, well deserved the decision even if it had not been one of his better performances. Prior to the contest the WBC had threatened to strip Spinks if he met the IBF's Davis over the WBA's distance of 15 rounds, stating they had an agreement with the WBA that this defence should be over 12 rounds. Common sense eventually prevailed when the fight went ahead supported by all three bodies.

In mid-July it was announced that Spinks would be defending his title in Reno, Nevada on 7 September over 12 rounds against Dwight Muhammad Qawi. It was later confirmed as a 15-round fight when the WBA and WBC agreed that Spinks should alternate between 12 and 15-round defences to satisfy both authorities. Unfortunately, after all that had gone on, Qawi pulled out within days of the fight taking place when complaining he had damaged his left shoulder in training.

Following that, Spinks said he was keen to move up to challenge Carlos De Leon for the WBC cruiser title if he could not make serious matches at light heavyweight, especially as two defences had now fallen through costing him a total of $2,000,000 in lost purses and there seemed to be no viable challengers in sight. Then, at the beginning of January 1985, it was reported that he would be defending the title against the undefeated David Sears in February. Scheduled for 15 rounds, the WBA required distance, it was supported by the WBC on the grounds that Spinks' next defence would be over 12 rounds. While not being involved in either promotion, Spinks was recognised by the IBF as champion.