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Coasting and trying to save what little strength remained, Ali did little in the 13th round. Then, before he could set himself in Round 14, Spinks swarmed over him again, forcing him back into his own corner, blasting him to the body.
Leaping to the top step again, Bundini yelled at Spinks, "You're all done, chump. You're all done."
Looking at Bundini over Ali's shoulder, Spinks laughed. The moment allowed Ali to escape, but only briefly. Spinks chased him into another corner and hammered him three times to the body. Then he followed Ali to the ropes and whacked him three times to the head. At the bell, legs gone, arms leaden, Ali shuffled back to his corner.
In Round 15, Ali was reborn in desperation. Willing his body to be young, he went out looking for the knockout he knew he needed. As they closed, Ali said something to Spinks. Spinks nodded, and they both threw savage big punches. No more artistry, no more defense. Grunting, they put this one in the trenches.
Ali tagged Spinks with a right to the temple, and the challenger staggered. As Ali rushed in to put him away, Spinks sagged back into the ropes, took two more shots to the head—and then fought back with a left and a right.
Ali fired four punches. He took a jab, and then fired five more. But his moment had passed. Spinks hit him twice. Then he hit him three more times. He missed with a hook and almost fell. Recovering, he hooked Ali to the head, hurting him. Ali was in trouble. He took another straight right, and a right uppercut. Ali managed to fire off a weak hook, but at the bell Spinks hit him with a right and Ali nearly was floored.
Shaking his head, Ali staggered back to the crowd in his corner. There he waited for the decision.