Again, boos from the crowd—but an early celebration began in the champion's corner. "Quiet!" Dundee shouted. "Let's hear it."
Turning to the second slip, Hall read, "Judge Lou Tabat scores it 145-140, Spinks."
Ali stared down at the floor. Spinks stared at Hall, who now began, "Judge Harold Buck scores it 144-141, Spinks. And the new...." A swelling roar drowned out the rest of the sentence.
Ali accepted the decision without complaint. Around him rose anguished cries of robbery, of a fix, of being had. Ali, now the ex-champion, walked to his dressing room. He was crying, but his head was held high. He ignored the madness all about him.
He sat down and sipped a glass of carrot juice. Sarrea, his face emotionless, kneeled and began to remove Ali's shoes. Someone shouted, "It was robbery."
Ali's head came up. "Shut up. Nobody got robbed. I lost the fight."
The door burst open, and Michael Dokes, one of Ali's sparring partners, flew into the room. He was furious. Indicating Ali's associates, he said to Ali, "They fed you a lot of crap. They told you you were in shape and you weren't. You listened to all the wrong people."
"That's right, not in shape," someone said, grabbing the excuse from the air.
"Oh, man," Ali said in disgust. "First I was robbed and now I'm not in shape. Why don't you listen? I was beaten. I lost. He won. Can't you understand that?"
In his dressing room Spinks quieted a small gathering. "Celebrate later," he said, "but now, first things first. Before anyone starts jiving we must give our thanks to the Lord." The new heavyweight champion of the world led the prayer: "Dear God, thank you for answering my prayers. Thank you for my not getting hurt, and for my man not getting hurt. Thank you for the miracle. All praise sweet Jesus."