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Michael Played The Heavy
Pat Putnam
September 30, 1985
Michael Spinks upset Larry Holmes, becoming the only light heavyweight ever to win the heavyweight crown
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September 30, 1985

Michael Played The Heavy

Michael Spinks upset Larry Holmes, becoming the only light heavyweight ever to win the heavyweight crown

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Over in Spinks's corner the mood was different. "You got three minutes and you're champion," they told him.

Spinks came out with an overhand right and then caught a stiff right upper-cut to the head. He was dazed. He began to run, Holmes in pursuit. More than a minute passed before Spinks recovered enough to fight back effectively. They fought the last minute even.

Then came the decision: Moretti and Lederman 143-142; Wallace, who didn't think Holmes had won a round after the ninth, 145-142. "...and the new heavyweight champion...."

"It's over," said a jubilant Spinks in his corner, where Leon had joined him, thus placing in the same ring at the same time the only two brothers to have held the heavyweight title. "Thank God. I asked Him to take over. All I did was let Him use my body. You know, I never saw myself winning this. Well, once. Once, I saw myself knocking him out. Hey, he couldn't hit me. I gave him a totally confused person. He must have thought I was having a fit. He was totally frustrated."

In his hotel suite an hour after the fight, Holmes, wearing a white shirt and blue slacks, sipped a glass of white wine. He said he had won and they had taken it from him, but there was no anger in his voice.

"I had too much going against me. Marciano's record. People calling me a racist. [Earlier in the week, when a computer had decided that Marciano would knock out Holmes in the 10th round of a fight between them, Holmes was widely reported to have said, "What do you expect from a white computer in a white man's game?"] That hurts. It hurts me and it hurts my family," Holmes said. "And I am a dictator. I tell them who I want to fight and for how much. For two weeks the street talk was that if it went to a decision, I couldn't win. But it's a relief; I'm glad it's over. God gives you signals when it is time to quit. This is my time."

"That's it, then?" asked a visitor.

"That's it. No more fights," said Larry Holmes, the ex-fighter.

"What about a rematch with Spinks?"

"Fifteen million," said Larry Holmes, the businessman.

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