MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Cory Spinks is moving up from super welterweight to challenge Jermain Taylor Saturday for the middleweight championship, but he moved up a bit too far.
Spinks missed the middleweight limit of 160 pounds at Friday's weigh-in at the FedEx Forum, weighing in at 161 pounds. But about an hour later, he weighed in at 159.8, the same as Taylor, and dismissed it as a non-issue.
He said he ate a full breakfast of oatmeal and fruit Friday and was weighed on a Don King Productions scale in his room, coming in under 160 pounds. He said all he did to lose the weight was walk around.
"No," he said emphatically when asked if he felt drained. "I feel fine. It's not a problem."
Taylor, who will be defending his WBC title for the fourth time, was disgusted. He knew before the weigh-in that he would make it and couldn't understand how Spinks, who holds the IBF's 154-pound title, didn't know as well.
"It shows he's not professional," Taylor said as he left the arena to go eat.
Spinks promoter Don King was not happy when he learned that Spinks had missed weight. There had been talk that Taylor was not going to make it, but no one ever considered that Spinks would not make it.
Spinks has been a welterweight for most of his career, which has a 147-pound weight limit, and Saturday's bout is his first at middleweight.
"I was not only surprised but I was shocked," King said. "I had been hearing rumors that the champion was going to have to lose eight pounds and here we are, the champion makes the weight and the little guy who really should have no problem at all didn't do it.
"He was building himself up for the shock. That's what he was doing, making himself a solid middleweight. It was a complete shock to me."
In Tennessee, weigh-ins aren't held in public, as they are in most states. The weigh-in was held privately in a locker room where Spinks stripped naked and stepped onto the scale, weighing 161.
When he got onto the scale in front of the public for the ceremonial weigh-in, he was actually 161.4, though it was announced as 161 because that's what he had weighed the first time.
Spinks trainer Kevin Cunningham questioned the accuracy of the commission's scale. He said when a 10-pound weight was added, the reading showed 10.25 pounds.
Spinks, though, didn't feel like debating it. And he said Taylor didn't gain an advantage.
"I guarantee that (Taylor) is still weaker than I am," Spinks said. "I'm strong. I have no problems. This isn't going to throw a monkey wrench into my plans. I'm still going to do what I said I'm going to do."
Taylor's trainer, Emanuel Steward, said Taylor had no problems making the weight and will be as strong as usual.
Spinks wasn't the only fighter who had trouble with the scales. Edison Miranda, who meets unbeaten Kelly Pavlik in the other bout that is part of the HBO broadcast, initially weighed 160.2 pounds. After 45 minutes, he made 160. Pavlik weighed 159.8 on his first try.
- Cory Spinks
- Jermain Taylor