1984-02-25 Michael Spinks w pts 12 Eddie Davis, Resorts International Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD
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 and ultimately went 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 and Davis was forced to take some solid blows to the head. 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, but the latter always landed the better quality punches and well deserved the decision even if it had not been one of his better performances.
Spinks had been seen as the champion by USBA/I when they were formed back in April 1983, but in late October, at their first ever convention, the same organisation, renamed the International Boxing Federation (IBF), stated that they were recognising Eddie Davis as their champion. However, following Davis’ defeat at the hands of Spinks, the IBF announced that they would continue to support the latter as champion.
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 after complaining he had damaged his left shoulder in training and the show was cancelled.
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. However, at the beginning of January 1985, it was reported that he would be defending the title against the undefeated David Sears in a WBA recognised 15 rounder in February.