MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Round-by-round coverage of the bout between middleweight champion Jermain Taylor and challenger Cory Spinks, which Taylor won by split decision.
Spinks comes to the ring accompanied by Jibbs, a 16-year-old rapper from St. Louis who is rapping “King Kong,” as Spinks dances en route. Taylor greeted warmly by the fans who made the trek from Arkansas. Crowd doing a hog call for Taylor as the fighters receive instructions from referee Michael Ortega.
Spinks flicking a jab that falls short. Neither has landed a serious punch in the first minute. Spinks gets in a left. Taylor short with a chopping right. Pace is slow. Taylor can’t find the range as Spinks continues to circle and flicks a jab. Taylor hooks to the body and follows with an uppercut. Spinks’ round, 10-9.
Spinks lands a left as the crowd chants his name. There are scattered boos as fight can’t come close to matching the Pavlik-Miranda opener thus far. Spinks lands a combination. Taylor lands a jab and they tie up in the middle of the ring. Taylor misses a wild right. Spinks’ round, 10-9.
Taylor lands a right over the top. Spinks complains of a head butt. Right cross by Taylor lands on the chin that backs Spinks up. Straight right by Taylor snaps Spinks’ head. Looping right lands by Taylor. He’s beginning to land the right consistently, which could be trouble for Spinks. Taylor lands a jab and a right hand and Spinks spins away. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Spinks comes out flicking the jab. Taylor lands a looping left that doesn’t do much damage. They bang heads in the center of the ring. Big right by Taylor backs up Spinks. Spinks can’t land as he appears wary to get into Taylor’s range. They trade jabs, but Taylor’s had more impact. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Spinks lands a jab and a short right. Good combination to body and head by Taylor hurts Spinks, who shakes his head and says no. Spinks lands a short right but Taylor lands two rights and then a jab. Good hard right by Taylor near the bell. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Pace is slow in first minute as nothing of consequence is thrown or landed. Hard counter right by Taylor, perhaps the best punch of the fight. Spinks throws a combination and they bang heads again. Right hand by Taylor wobbles Spinks. A left and a right by Taylor and Spinks holds on. Right uppercut by Taylor inside. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Spinks lands a left. Spinks appears to be having trouble seeing out of his right eye as he’s blinking a lot. There is swelling around the eye. A short right by Taylor moves Spinks. Taylor’s physical strength is controlling the fight now. They aren’t throwing a lot of punches, but Taylor’s have much more impact. Spinks is circling and jabbing but throwing nothing with conviction. A Taylor jab wobbles Spinks, though he may have been off-balance. Taylor lands another short right inside. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
First minute has no action, though Taylor is stalking. Taylor lands a jab and Spinks misses a hook. Crowd boos loudly with a minute left as next-to-nothing is happening. Taylor starting to use the jab more. Taylor lands a hard jab followed by a crisp right hand. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Spinks lands a right but Tayor lands two rights and then a jab. Taylor goes to the body. A very slow pace now. Taylor lands a good right. Close round. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Taylor lands a hard jab but again the pace is slow. Taylor lands a combination in the corner. A lot of posing and moving and not a lot of punching. Spinks is doing next-to-nothing. Taylor’s round, 10-9.
Again a slow start to the round. There is a lot of booing. Spinks lands a soft left. They clash heads again. Spinks throws a combination and Taylor flicks a jab. Taylor not doing much. Taylor misses badly on a right. Three-punch combination from Spinks with 35 seconds left. They wrestle in the corner. Spinks’ round, 10-9.
Taylor is more aggressive in first 30 seconds. Crowd chanting Spinks’ name. Spinks lands a short left. Taylor misses a right hand. Taylor is missing a lot now. They are tied up inside. Spinks lands a left and they again tie up. Spinks loses his mouthpiece with a minute left. Taylor warned for using an elbow. Spinks flicks a jab. Crowd booing, though some are cheering as the end approaches. Spinks raises his arms in triumph. Spinks’ round, 10-9.
The bout goes to the scorecards and it is a split decision. Dick Flaherty scores it 117-111 for Spinks, but Michael Pernick has it 115-113 and Gale Van Hoy sees it 117-111 for Taylor. Yahoo! Sports had it 116-112 for Taylor.