Unified Boxing League
The following was archived from a co-op project conducted in 2005 via the Delphi Tabletop Sports Forum. Several fellow LOB players shared in conducting and writing up these results.
This project is about a fictional organization called the Unified Boxing League (UBL) which replaces all of the real-life alphabet organizations. The premise of this project is to take another look at the 80s heavyweight division through a different lens.
I will begin with a four-man tournament for the UBL World Heavyweight Championship. The first phase is a double main event scheduled for March 31st, 1980 in Las Vegas featuring:
Mike Weaver (WBA champ) vs John Tate Larry Holmes (WBC champ) vs Lorenzo Zanon
The victors will meet for the world title
From that point forward, I will create match-ups as if the UBL were the sole authority for world rankings and titles.
After these two fights, the UBL will release it's heavyweight rankings which will include the following six contenders (alphabetical order by last name):
Randall Cobb Leroy Jones Scott LeDoux Leon Spinks Jimmy Young
As the decade progresses, new fighters will become eligible to enter the UBL rankings on a scheduled basis.
I will conduct the fights with Legends of Boxing and I will roll for random ratings adjustments on the Career Mode tables. In the world of the Unified Boxing League, matches will be made in an effort to test the abilities of the ranked fighters against each other. Fighters will be required to defend their UBL ranking against a lower-ranked or non-ranked fighter about half of the time. The champion will defend his title at least twice per year.
Larry Holmes (WBC champ) vs Lorenzo Zanon
R1: Holmes immediately established his jab in punishing fashion. The first one landed flush and seemed to stun Zanon! This setup a scathing cross to the head. Zanon answered back and they exchanged jabs. At 1:54 (elapsed) Zanon connected with an excellent combination. This seemed to spark Holmes who pressed in on Zanon in the final minute, scoring a heavy combo of his own.
R2: An aggressive Holmes came out with a double hook. Moments later Zanon caught him with a beautiful counter-hook. Nice... Holmes went into a defensive shell for a while as Zanon worked hard, scoring mostly to the body on the inside. Holmes waited and then sprung a wicked straight right snapping Zanon's head back! In the final 49 seconds Holmes turned it on, but at the bell Zanon stood toe-to-toe as they both landed clean shots! Damn... Exciting round....
R3: Heeding the advice of his corner, Holmes focused more on defense and began to frustrate Zanon. Holmes was more efficient with his punches, but still scored plenty while nullifying most of Zanon's work.
R4: There was a heated exchange early. It appeared Zanon was trying to disrupt Holmes' rhythm. But Holmes was undaunted and he went to work on the inside, chopping and pounding Zanon from several angles. Things seemed to be slipping away from Zanon at this point.
R5: In this round, things got a bit "chippy". There was lots of clinching and Holmes was warned for a foul. Zanon didn't really land anything of significance here.
R6: Zanon was determined to pick up the pace and he connected with a solid hook to the head as he pressed the action in the first minute. Holmes kept tagging him with the jab and blood began to trickle from above his right eye. A clash of heads made it worse as major swelling began near the cut. After they exchanged combinations, Holmes took command in the final minute.
R7: Holmes picked up where he left off, using the jab to aggravate Zanon's eye and setting up a combination. Just past the 1-minute mark Zanon scored a clean hook that stopped Holmes momentum. They battled back-n-forth for a while. Good action round... Holmes appeared to gain the edge in the final 30 seconds with sharp jabs. Zanon's eye was looking bad.
R8: Holmes continued to pick Zanon apart with jabs and hooks. Zanon rallied briefly with a body and head combination. But Holmes reset himself and went back to work. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Holmes jab opened the cut wide and the fight was stopped.
TKO! Time: 2:54
Holmes will meet the winner of Weaver-Tate.
Mike Weaver (WBA champ) vs John Tate
R1: The fighters tested eachother for most of this round. Neither one landed clean punch in the first two minutes. Tate was the busier fighter though, scoring with a couple combinations. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Tate connected with a clean hook that stunned Weaver to seal the round.
R2: They traded straight punches and jabs in the first half of the round. In the latter half, Weaver picked-up the pace and challenged Tate with combinations. Weaver's cross was finding the mark... So he ripped a sharp cross to the jaw! A deceiving shot that dropped Tate in the middle of the ring! Tate groped around and made it to one knee when he was counted out!!
KO, 2:33 of Round 2 An impressive knockout for Weaver. He will meet Holmes for the world title.
UBL World Heavyweight Rankings - April 1980
Champ - vacant
- Mike Weaver
- Larry Holmes
- Gerrie Coutzee
- Scott LeDoux
- Jimmy Young
- Lorenzo Zanon
- Randall Cobb
- Leon Spinks
- John Tate
- Leroy Jones
Leon Spinks vs. Scott Ledoux This is rematch of their 1977 bout that resulted in a draw. The UBL is compelled to seek a definitive answer for these two ranked fighters.
R1: They set a good pace in the opening stanza. LeDoux immediately worked his way inside with a power punches, while Spinks mainly tried to keep LeDoux at the end of his jab. In the final minute both landed solid shots in a very close round.
R2: Slower paced action... Spinks was warned early for fouling. Midway through the round LeDoux connected with a heavy uppercut that stunned Spinks. Spinks tried to rally late, but LeDoux blocked the worst of it.
R3 & 4: The action picked up again with LeDoux landing several solid straight rights. The tide turned slowly in favor a Spinks midway through the third round as he got the better of LeDoux on the inside. In the 4th, Spinks kept the pressure on and outworked LeDoux. But LeDoux did answer with a pair of solid uppercuts. At the 2-minute mark, Spinks connected with a big combination that had LeDoux staggered! LeDoux was able to tie-up and shake it off.
R5: The fight built to a crescendo in the 5th. LeDoux stunned Spinks with a hard uppercut. From that point on, he seemed to be going for the KO. Nonetheless, Spinks got his act together and was able answer a flurry or two. LeDoux's right eye began to swell, but he kept punching, landing combinations and another big uppercut down the stretch! Great round!
R6 & 7: LeDoux progressively slowed his punch rate through these two rounds allowing Spinks to regain control with his own uppercuts. The 6th round was still close, but the 7th round was all Spinks as he pummelled at LeDoux's defensive guard.
R8-10: LeDoux came back to life. Each man answered the other with solid shots time and again. Spinks left eye showed some swelling. LeDoux had a slight edge in these rounds, but the scoring could go either way.
R11: This round was dead even with mostly grazing punches scored. LeDoux landed a nice cross at 2:10, then Spinks replied with a hard hook before the bell.
R12: They exchanged shots to open the final round. LeDoux went back to his uppercut on the inside landing it repeatedly! Spinks came back with a great combination. A short cross opened a gash over Spinks left eye, but he still got through with a couple good punches down the stretch to make this round very close.
The scores: 115-113 LeDoux, 116-112 Spinks, and 115-115... Another DRAW!!! These two have now fought to a draw TWICE! So much for my definitive answer... LOL! Spinks was more consistent, while LeDoux was more effective in spurts. If they both hang around in the top 10 long enough, we'll see a third match.
Randall "Tex" Cobb vs Leroy Jones
R1: A rough start to this one with a nasty clash of heads about 30 seconds in, which resulted in swelling near Jone's left eye. Both fighters seemed angry and let their hands go recklessly. Cobb scored a heavy combo to the body and head and Jones returned fire with a combination of his own that dropped Cobb to the canvas!! Cobb was only down for a 3 or 4 seconds. He seemed ok and was ready when Jones came back at him Cobb got the better of the flurry, but the knockdown put Cobb in an early hole.
R2: This was too close to call as Cobb pressed the action, but Jones scored with counter-punches. Jones' mouth was bleeding by the end of this round.
R3: Jones really found a good rhythm in this round and picked Cobb apart as he tried to get inside. An easy round for the challenger.
R4: But Cobb kept bearing down on him and it worked in this round. He landed several meaningful uppercuts and hooks to get the edge in this round.
Rounds 5-7: The pace slowed as Cobb appeared to fatigue. Jones fought effectively from the outside, jab after jab, with an occasional straight punch... The one-dimensional Cobb kept his head down and tried to dig at the body. Jones maintained the edge in these rounds.
R8: However, early in this round, Cobb caught him with thumping hook to the head. Jones was clearly stunned. He tried to regain Cobb's respect throwing more straight power shots, but Cobb just bullied him around. The knockdown in round 1 seemingly forgotten - at least by Cobb.
R9: Jones was game. He decided to stand and trade hooks and uppercuts in this round and actually got the better of it. Good action at a measured pace.
R10: Eager to keep the brawl going, Cobb kept pounding away on the inside. This time, Jones seemed to be in cruise mode and didn't exchange much leather. This allowed Cobb to have his best round.
R11: Jones outboxed him again in this round and his persistent jab was taking a toll on Cobb's right eye. Cobb's best punch was an uppercut to the head. There was another clash of heads too. By the end of this round, it was obvious that Jones was having trouble with his jaw.
R12: Cobb came out agressively seeking a knockout. He landed a hook, jab, and straight punch, but then a low blow stopped the action. The ref deducted a point which seemed to seal the deal for Jones. Jones played it safe and guarded that swollen jaw down the stretch.
Unanimous Decision: 116-112, 115-111, and 117-109 all for Leroy Jones!
UBL World Heavyweight Rankings - May 1980
Champ Vacant 1 Mike Weaver 2 Larry Holmes 3 Gerrie Coutzee 4 Jimmy Young 5 Lorenzo Zanon 6 Scott LeDoux 7 Leon Spinks 8 Leroy Jones 9 John Tate 10 Randall Cobb
Gerrie Coutzee vs Jimmy Young In real life, Young fought Cooney at this point of 1980. In the UBL world, he's in with Coutzee instead. Young had already proven to be a tricky fighter who could occasionally eek-out a decision against ferocious punchers. However, most felt that Coutzee - in peak form - would be able to stop him. Let's find out.
R1: Fairly slow action to start... Coutzee, of course, played the aggressor. He used the jab to try to setup power punches. A hard hook got through. Toward the end of the round, Young rallied with lighter punches to make it close.
R2: Young's hook was on the mark early in the round and started some swelling on Coutzee's right eye. Coutzee seemed out-of-sync and couldn't time his punches. Young worked his jab beautifully. Just past the 2-minute mark, a jab ripped a deep gash over Coutzee's left eye! Uh oh... That's a problem. Very strong round for Young.
R3: Coutzee fought with urgency throwing big hooks and uppercuts, which Young handled well. Then Young showed a willingness to brawl and they had two furious exchanges with no clear winner. A hard counter-hook in the closing seconds may have given Young the edge in scoring. Coutzee's cut continued to flow...
R4: Young absorbed a big body shot and responded with a flagrant foul. Then he tried to stay away. The ever-advancing Coutzee was able to reach him a few times, including a heavy combination. Good round for Coutzee.
R5: Young settled down again and began to box. Jab and move... Another jab tore at the Coutzee's left eye. The action was stopped to look at the cut... and... it's over!
TKO on Cuts, 0:32 of Round 5.
Nice upset victory for Young will move him up the rankings!
UBL World Heavyweight Championship Scheduled 15 Rounds MIKE WEAVER vs LARRY HOLMES
R1-2: Holmes skewered Weaver with a crackling straight right! Not even 30 seconds into the fight and Weaver was stunned! Weaver gathered himself and was able to move away from danger as Holmes stalked. Then both men began to swap jabs and combinations. Holmes maintained the edge in both rounds, fighting effectively from outside.
R3: Weaver turned it up a notched and simply outworked Holmes in this round. Even when Holmes answered with a solid shot, Weaver would come back with more.
R4: Weaver ran into another big right just seconds after the bell! Stunned again... This time Holmes used disciplined pressure to punish Weaver. Very impressive. Weaver was forced to clinch. By the end of the round there was a small cut under the left eye.
R5-6: For the next two rounds, Weaver slowly gained steam, but it wasn't enough to win a round. Holmes had a good rhythm with the jab and was able to match Weaver's power shots as well.
R7: Holmes stunned Weaver with another clean right! Then he connected with it again, snapping Weaver's head back! Holmes was looking to close the show with sharp punches!! Weaver was reeling for nearly 90 seconds, but he did not go down. In the final minute, Weaver received two warnings for fouling. He was in desperate trouble.
R8-10: A badly fading Weaver just seemed intent to survive in these rounds. He occassionally landed a solid shot to get Holmes attention, but Holmes was in complete command of the fight.
R11: Holmes repeatedly backed Weaver up with stiff jabs. Weaver tried to trade with him, but couldn't land clean. Then another big right drove Weaver into the ropes! The ref stepped in and saved him!! It's over! Larry Holmes has become the Heavyweight Champion of the World!
TKO 2:08 of Round 11
UBL RANKINGS, June 1980
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Gerrie Coutzee 3 Lorenzo Zanon 4 Mike Weaver 5 Scott LeDoux 6 Leon Spinks 7 Leroy Jones 8 John Tate 9 Randall Cobb 10 James Tillis
June 11, 1980 Lorenzo Zanon vs Scott LeDoux Campiano d'Italia Italy Referee: Joe O'Neill
The roar of the capacity crowd at this beautiful Italian resort was deafening as the fighters approached the ring and electricity filled the air as the introductions were made and their native son Lorenzo Zanon was introduced.
Boxing experts had written that Zanon was past his prime, but he appeared ready for this contest and pumped by the reaction of the fans in his home country! Ranked #3 and #5 respectively, Zanon and LeDoux were battling for a shot at UBL Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes.
Zanon opened with a short hook to the body, but LeDoux came right back with one of his own. They exchanged solid right crosses and the round continued with each fighter scoring! LeDoux ended it with a solid left uppercut bit I scored the round even.
LeDoux led off with a good right cross, but Zanon came back with a good left uppercut to the head of LeDoux, opening a deep cut near his left eye! LeDoux seemed unfazed as he came right back with a solid right cross! It was another punch filled round and despite the deep cut I scored it even because Ledoux was able to find Zanon several times after the cut occured!
Zanon opened with a good left hook. Le doux tried to comeback with one of his own and Zanon ducked! The fight seemed to be heading in Zanon's favor. But in the final seconds Ledoux had the last word as he threw a good right cross that caused minor swelling in Zanon's left eye, then ended the round with a good short left hook. Nonetheless I scored it with a slight edge to Zanon.
Ledoux opened the round with a good left hook, but theb Zanon took control with a series of solid scoring punches that were unanswered. Once again Ledoux landed the last punch of the round, opening a cut above Zanon's right eye but overall a big round for the home fighter!
Both fighters were showing subtle signs of tiring as fewer punches were thrown. I gave the slight edge to Zanon on my scorecard.
The two exchanged solid punches to open the round. Then in the middle minute Ledoux began to dominate, scoring with three uppercuts consecutively! Zanon managed to land a cross in the final minute but it was a big round for Ledoux!
Ledoux opened with another good uppercut. Then Zanon answered with a good left jab that caused Ledoux to drop his guard momentarily and Zanon seized the moment with a big left hook that send Ledoux down! Referee Joe O'Neill counted....8.....9.....TEN!
The winner in 1:07 of round seven....Lorenzo Zanon!!!!
The crowd, emotional throughout the fight, went absolutely nuts...storming the ring and lifting Zanon high in the air!
Rounds one and two were two of the most exciting and action filled rounds I have ever witnessed!
James Tillis vs. Bernardo Mercado June 14th, 1980 Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati 10 Rounds
Mercado had beaten Shavers early in the year and was awarded with this shot at the newly ranked James Tillis. Meanwhile, Tillis entered this contest as a slick undefeated prospect with a record of 17-0, who had yet to face a world class competitor.
R1: Tillis took a right to the nose in the opening seconds- a wake-up call that caused a trickle of blood. After that, Tillis displayed excellent movement and defense to win the round.
R2: They engaged each other in a flurry of action in the first minute. Mercado seemed to get the better of it, landing heavier punches. But when Tillis began to move around the ring, Mercado had a hard time reaching him. Tillis evened things up with a nice hook to head and a good combination.
R3: Mercado connected with solid uppercut and although he wasn't staggered, things seemed to go awry for Tillis. Tillis missed with a big cross and again was jacked-up with an uppercut. Again Tillis missed with a cross and this time Mercado stuck him with a clean straight right! Tillis replied with a combination and then a hook. Then Mercado blasted him with a perfect hook to the ribs! Tillis buckled and fell to his knees!! Tillis is counted out! Wow!
KO, 2:31 of Round 3
The prospect failed the test. Mercado will takeover the #10 spot in the rankings.
John Tate vs Ken Norton
It's Saturday, July 19th, 1980 and it's a sweltering day in the Twin Cities---specifically, Bloomington Minnesota as a crowd of 9,475 file in to the Met Center for an important matchup in the UBL as the #9 ranked heavyweight, Joh Tate faces former WBC champion Ken Norton. This is an intriguing matchup...Tate is comming off a disappointing loss to Mike Weaver, whereas Norton looks at this as the first step back towards a championship. Tate has the big punch and the olympic pedigree in his favor, but experience is on Norton's side. Tate has a suspect jaw, and this isn't your daddy's Norton of 10 years ago...it's 1980 and Norton looks on this run as possibly his last as a boxer. There's nothing he'd like better than to become champion then contemplate retirement. Our bout is set for ten rounds. It'll be interesting to see what strategies the two will employ. Boxing expert and historian Bert Randolph Sugar wrote in his recent column that Tate may try to take Norton out early and avoid the fight going too long, whereas Norton may try to stay on the defense early to let Tate tire himself out. Some proceeds from the fight will be given to the Minnesota Golden Gloves organization. The referee is Tommy Thomas, and the ringside judges are Richard Murry, Hay-zeus Arias, and John Stewart. (NOTE---Tate is "Prime", Norton is "Declining")
Round One---Tate tries to go right after Norton, while Norton will try to pick apart from the outside. Two highlights saw a Flagrant foul by Norton, and a big Norton straight punch that staggered Tate Round Two---not much action, as both are still feeling each other out Round Three--Not much action again, although a clinch ended in a slightly bleeding mouth of Norton Round Four---Norton starting to take control, as Tate is constantly frustrated in his attempts to land a big punch on Norton. For example, off a counter-punch, Norton was able to again stagger Tate. Soon after, Tate landed a big combo that had Norton in trouble on the far ropes. Tate went for the kill, but Norton's guile had him getting in equal shots in the ensuing exchange. Both got solid hooks in just before the bell Round Five---after the wild action of the 4th, the fifth was a defensive round by both Round Six---Norton firmly in control. Norton lands a big straight punch, then later was slightly cut above the right eye by Tate. Another jab causes a bit of blood to come out of Norton's nose. But Norton ended the round with a solid straight shot---a punch that Tate doesn't seem to have any defense for. Round Seven---Other than one solid punch by Tate, Norton is laying back and watching Tate punch himself out. Good round again by Norton Round Eight---Tate is in trouble now. His strategy to put it away early didn't happen, and he's breathing quite heavily now. Norton opens a slight cut under Tate's right eye, and the frustrated Tate gets charged with a flagrant foul towards the end of the round Round Nine---Tate has nothing left in the tank. Norton just sits outside and picks him apart. Are we seeing a return of the younger Norton of 1972 that caused Ali so much trouble? Round Ten---Final Round. Norton can just put it on cruise control and win on points easily. But in a show to the rest of the division, Norton goes for "the kill", and it pays off. Huge punch by Norton lands square on Tate's jaw, and Tate is down for the count for the second fight in a row.
THE WINNER---at 1:53 of the 10th and final round---KEN NORTON!!!
Leroy Jones vs. Alfredo Evangelista July 26th, 1980, Miami, FL 10 Rounds
Jones comes into this fight as an undefeated contender who earned a unanimous decision over Randall Cobb in April. At this stage, Evangelista was a respected veteran who had already been through wars with the likes of Holmes, Ali, Spinks, and Zanon. He's just trying to get back into title contention.
R1-2: Both fighters were pretty active early in the fight with close give-and-take action. Jones was more efficient while Evangelista was more aggressive. Evangelista had a slight edge in these rounds.
R3-4: Even though Evangelista picked-up the pace, Jones began to nullify the greater volume of punches with movement and defense. Evangelista did score a couple of combinations downstairs, but it was mostly glancing shots. Jones began to find the mark with his hook. Things got chaotic in the 4th and the ref warned both fighters. Well-timed jabs and hooks by Jones...
R5: A great 20-second exchange occurred after the 1-minute mark. Evangelista dug a solid shot to the ribs. Jones cracked him with clean hook to the head and Evangelista came back with heavy combination! Jones continued to score with the hook, but with 12 seconds remaining Evangelista straightened him with a hard uppercut!
R6-7: Evangelista connected with a nice double hook early, but Jones went back to boxing and he was able to dictate the action with his jab. Evangelista's right eye showed significant swelling by the end of the 6th. In the 7th, Jones seemed comfortable and scored with a variety of punches. Evangelista only caught him once with a solid uppercut.
R8: The action escalated here. Jones decided to brawl again and they stood and traded leather; lighter shots at first, then both men landed heavy blows as the round wore on. The action was all inside. Evangelista landed a clean looping hook! Jones shook it off and matched him with a hard combination! Neither man would back down. They both scored in a heavy flurry in the final 9 seconds!
R9: Evangelista took charge early and kept grinding away on the inside. A small cut appeared beneath Jones left eye. Jones began to rally with an uppercut and some crosses to make it close.
R10: The effects of the 8th round seemed to catch up with them here as the action slowed. Lots of missed and blocked shots. Evangelista was too gassed to land anything significant. Jones was a bit more accurate to gain the advantage in the final round of a very close contest.
The scoring at ringside... 96-94....Alfredo Evangelista. 96-94....Leroy Jones... and 96-94 for the winner by split decision... Leroy Jones!!
So Jones holds onto a ranked position, but Evangelista will likely get another shot at the Top 10.
UBL Rankings for August 1980
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Lorenzo Zanon 3 Gerrie Coutzee 4 Mike Weaver 5 Leroy Jones 6 Ken Norton 7 Leon Spinks 8 Scott LeDoux 9 Randall Cobb 10 Bernardo Mercado
UBL World Heavyweight Championship - 15 Rounds LARRY HOLMES vs JIMMY YOUNG August 9th, 1980 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Young's victory over Coutzee promoted him to #1 contender. Young seemed to have a solid training camp, but the consensus was that he couldn't hold up against Holmes for 15. Meanwhile, the new champion looked great in stopping two of the top four contenders (Zanon and Weaver) to earn the title. However, reports from the Holmes camp indicated that the champion was not very focused.
R1: Typical first round as both fighters waited for the other to make a move. Holmes scored a couple good counter-rights over Young's jab, but both fighters displayed nice defense.
R2-4: Young revealed surprising quickness landing a couple of solid combinations in the 2nd. Holmes seemed out-of-sync. In the 3rd, Holmes tried to work inside, but Young controlled the distance with jabs and crosses. In the 4th, Holmes started finding the range with his jab, but in the final minute, Young peppered him with glancing shots to steal the round. Holmes seems to be holding back.
R5: The champ stuck with his jab and it started to payoff in this round. He snapped the challenger's head back at the 2:40 mark. Good consistent work... Holmes' best round thus far.
R6-7: Holmes began to press-in on Young, trying to setup the straight right which did connect once. However Young exploited some openings and landed a solid hook and a heavy combination. In the 7th, Holmes just didn't throw enough punches. Young easily outworked him and scored a sharp jab with 2:12 elapsed. The champ is falling behind.
R8-11: Holmes started fighting with some urgency. He matched everything that challenger threw at him. Young stayed on his toes; jab and move, jab and move. Time and again Holmes tried to connect with a big straight right, but Young held up. These rounds could've gone either way on the scorecards.
R12: Young opened the round with a flashy and effective combination then moved away. The challenger circled and pelted the champion with stinging hooks and jabs! Holmes was never hurt, but he just couldn't seem to get anything going. It was Young's finest moment...
R13: An impatient Holmes met Young with a nice combination! Young tried to use the jab to keep Holmes in-check, while Holmes pressured with combinations. They exchanged hooks before the bell. Nice rebound by the champ.
R14-15: The fighters were much more stationary in the final two rounds. They matched each other a lot; hook-for-hook and combo-for-combo. Holmes' superior punching power may have given him the edge in these rounds, but still too close to call.
At ringside, speculation swirled. Holmes seemed to give away several of the early rounds. Then Young seemed content to play it safe in the latter half of the fight, did it cost him? This fight had been a defensive chess match. Neither man landed a defining blow. No knockdowns. Neither man was even staggered. And so we go to the scorecards...
145-142 for Holmes... 145-143 for Young... and 145-143... for the NEW Heavyweight Champion of the World... Jimmy Young!!!
Holy cow!!! Holmes has lost the title in his first defense! And deservingly so... It was a lackluster performance for Holmes. I'm sure he'll be better prepared should they meet again. Holmes will be required to defend his #1 ranking before he will be granted another title shot.
Leon Spinks vs Bernardo Mercado With the boxing world still abuzz from the shocking title change of Jimmy Young defeating Larry Holmes, the scene switches to the Checkerdome in Saint Louis on this day, Saturday, Aug 23, 1980, as Leon Spinks faces Bernardo Mercardo. Here's some background information.
Spinks is currently ranked #7 in the U B L. He is an Olympic gold medal winner and one-time slayer of the great Muhammad Ali. Since losing the title, Spinks has been looking to get back into a title fight. Spinks has the advantage of a hometown crowd to cheer him on, as Spinks was born in Saint Louis.
Mercardo is ranked #10, having entered the ratings with a stunning KO of James "Quick" Tillis recently. Mercardo is hoping that the defeat of Tillis, coupled with a defeat of Spinks, a former champion, could get him one fight closer to possibly challenge Young for the title.
The one and only Stan "The Man" Musial will man the ringside bell, the Judges are Joaquin Jimenez, Richard Steele, and Phil Newman. Larry Rozadila will officiate.
Round One---A LOT of action. Spinks worked the hooks and uppercuts early in the round, but soon Mercardo was able to reach with a beautiful straight punch that sent Spinks to the cloth for a count of 6. Mercardo might have ended it within a minute, but there were only about 15 seconds left in the round, so Spinks survives to fight on.
Round Two---Again, a lot of fisticuffs. As with the first, the second saw Spinks take command early, even drawing blood from Mercardo's mouth, and Mercardo dictate late in the round. Overall, most people at ringside think that although Spinks is the hometown favorite, Mercardo won both the first and second rounds.
Round Three---Mercardo lands a HUGE hook early in the round, but Spinks was against the ropes, and somehow survived the haymakers that Mercado tried to land. Spinks then got a second wind, and as it has happened so often in boxing history, a single punch can sometimes do it. Spinks sees a small opening, throws a big hook, and BAM! Down goes Mercardo! Mercardo struggles to use the ropes to help him get up, but cannot beat Rozadila's ten count.
The Winner by Knockout, at 1:33 of the Third round, LEON SPINKS!!!
GERRIE COETZEE VS RANDY "TEX" COBB August 25, 1980 Ceasars Palace Las Vegas, Nevada
The Pride of South Africa drew a mixed reaction from the capacity crowd as he approached the ring. Then the imposing figure of Randall "Tex" Cobb appeared in the aisle and the Palace exploded with cheers for the boxer/movie star.
This battle between the current #3 and #9 contenders for the UBL Heavyweight Championship has drawn a lot of discussion in the boxing world. Will Cobb's prowess as a karate champion be any advantage?
The referee is Larry Hazzard. The judges at ringside are: Luis Garcia, Marco Torres and Jose Arias.
Cobb was immediately the aggressor, leading off with a solid combination to the body but Coetzee answered with a solid combination that found the head of Tex Cobb and pressed his advantage with a series of scoring punches. In the final minute Cobb threw a big left hook that stunned Coetzee and landed a good left jab at the bell.
Despite Cobb's strong finish Coetzee's domination of most of the first two minutes gave him the round on my scorecard and two of the judges agreed with me!
Both men came out punching, but the punches exchanged between them were either missed or blocked. Coetzee tried to gain control with a left jab but Cobb ducked and landed a good body-head combination. Coetzee answered with a left jab. The two juked, moving around looking for an opening. Finally Cobb landed a right uppercut. Referee Larry Hazzard issued a foul to Cobb for intentionally hitting low. Undaunted, Cobb landed a good left hook. Coetzee got the last word with a left hook of his own. I scored the round for Cobb because he threw the most effective punches. The judges were split.
Both men were cautious to start the round. Then Coetzee landed a jab. Coetzee dominated the rest of the round, scoring several times. Cobb did manage a good left hook in the final minute put Coetzee stunned him at the bell with a straight punch. Definitely a big round for the South African!
Coetzee was the aggressor right from the bell, landing three unanswered scoring punches---the latter a solid right uppercut that opened a minor cut over Cobb's right eye. Cobb did manage a solid left hook, but Coetzee came back with a good combination. Coetzee seemed in control, but he threw a left hook that was countered by a big straight punch that landed solidly and Coetzee went down! 8....9....10!!! The winner by Knockout in 2:07--Randy "Tex" Cobb!!!
At the rate the punches were being thrown I didnt think it would go the distance, but up to the final round it was very close!
UBL Heavyweight Rankings - Sept 1980
Champ Jimmy Young 1 Larry Holmes 2 Lorenzo Zanon 3 Mike Weaver 4 Leroy Jones 5 Leon Spinks 6 Randall Cobb 7 Ken Norton 8 Scott LeDoux 9 Gerrie Coutzee 10 Alfredo Evangelista
UBL Friday Night Fights Main Event Mike Weaver vs Leroy Jones 12 Rounds Sept 5th, 1980
R1: Weaver immediately smothered Jones and hammered away with uppercuts to the head and body! Jones tried to move away, but seemed unprepared for this pressure. Time and again, Weaver pounded him with solid power shots. Jones stood and traded in a big flurry before the bell, but it was a big opening round for Weaver!
R2: Weaver continued his inside onslaught, but Jones was adjusting. Jones began to sting Weaver with quick jabs. When Weaver would connect with crosses and uppercuts, Jones answered with punches from the outside. Close round...
R3: Jones got caught with a clean straight right early and he went into a defensive shell. Meanwhile, Weaver kept pressing in and trying to cut off the ring. Jones didn't appear hurt, he just didn't throw enough punches. An easy round for Weaver.
R4: Suddenly, Jones turned it on. He used the jab and then started ripping off effective combinations! By the end of the round, Weaver's nose was bleeding from repeated hard jabs. A good round for Jones.
R5: Weaver ate another jab and his nose began to flow again. Jones looked great, making Weaver miss and making Weaver pay with counter-rights! But in the final minute, Weaver surged a hard combination and a barrage of crosses and hooks to steal the round.
R6-7: The 6th frame featured close back-n-forth action with several big flurries. Weaver remained the aggressor, but Jones was sharp with a pair of beautiful counter-combinations. In the 7th, Weaver began to slow down. He had set a ferocious pace and now it appeared to be catching up with him. Jones picked up momentum with jabs and crosses, and then he stunned Weaver with a clean combination at the 2:30 mark. Jones is back in this fight.
R8: Jones was surprised by Weaver's jab, which Weaver had not used much until now. Jones evened it up with a solid combination. The pace slowed down significantly. Jones was able to nullify most of Weaver's power punches. Even round...
R9: More steady pressure from Weaver who appeared to be timing Jones for one big knockout punch. Jabs and crosses scored for Weaver, but nothing landed clean. Out of nowhere, Jones unleashed a perfect combination and Weaver collapsed in the center of the ring! WOW!! Weaver looked exhausted as much as dazed! 8...9...10!! Jones wins with an unlikely knockout!!
Man! That fight was much better than I expected. I've seen many fights unfold just like this. The pressuring fighter builds a lead and then fades, finally getting caught with a big shot. Classic.
Jones has taken another big step toward a title shot.
ALFREDO EVANGELISTA VS EARNIE SHAVERS SEPTEMBER 9, 1980 MGM GRAND HOTEL LAS VEGAS
Once again Las Vegas Nevada is the scene of UBL heavyweight action as Alfredo Evangelista faces Earnie Shavers in a scheduled 10 round bout!
Shavers may be considered past his prime, but he remains an imposing figure in the ring and he looked to be in excellent shape. He definitely comes across as a fighter who is not ready to be counted out of the heavyweight picture!
The referee is Ed Smith. The ringside judges are Chuck Hassett, Knud Jensen and the legendary Harold Lederman.
Both men cone out punching---blocking and missing punches. Then Shavers threw a big left uppercit that stunned Evangelista! He follows upwith a combination that sent Evangelista into the ropes and then a solid straight punch and Evangelista has a slight cut over his right eye as he blocks a left hook by Shavers at the bell. Big round for Shavers!
Evangelista scores with a solid left hook, but Shavers comes back with another big uppercut! He tried to press on with a combination but Evangelista blocked it and landed three scoring punches in a row, ending with a solid left hook! Shavers closes the round with a good left jab.
I scored the round as a close one for Evangelista, but all three judges put it in Shavers' column! Evangelista had Shavers in trouble in the middle minute but an argument could be made that Earnie started and ended the round in control!
Once again the two come out exchanging glancing blows. Then Shavers scores with a good right cross, a solid double jab and a good left hook followed by another double jab! But Evangelista lands a good left hook of his own and blocks a straight punch thrown by Shavers. Now Shavers finds Evangelista with a Big Left Hook and Alfredo goes down! 8....9....10!!!
The winner by knockout in 2:50 of round three---Earnie Shavers!!!! A great showing by the veteran!!!
LORENZO ZANON vs LEON SPINKS
DATELINE October 4, 1980---Manilla Arena, The Phiilipines. With the Zanon and Spinks camps not able to agree to hold the fight in Europe or The USA to avoid an unfair advantage, this far outpost of the Pacific will feature an important clash of heavyweights for a scheduled 12 rounds. The competitors are Lorenzo Zanon, ranked #2 by the UBL, and Leon Spinks, ranked #5 by the UBL. These two have earned those lofty rankings. Zanon most recently had a slick 7th round KO of Scott LeDoux, and Leon Spinks engaged in a slugfest with Bernardo Mercardo, earning a 3rd round KO.
Bert Randolph Sugar says that he is having a hard time getting a handle on this fight, as he sees both strengths and weaknesses for both fighters. He himself picked their previous fights wrong, and said he's becoming a believer in both. Sugar predicts that the hot weather may sap both fighters early, and it could come down to the one left that has that last-gasp power punch.
The weather is hot, the arena is packed, and the scene of Ali/Frazier III comes alive for top-rank heavyweight boxing! Your ringside judges are John Stewart, Michael Donate, and Carlos Berrocal. Officiating is the always capable Frank Cappuccino.
Round One---Spinks with two big hooks, Zanon with two big hooks. So far so good. Then, a haymaker tags Zanon, and he covers up for the rest of the round.
Round Two---Spinks was solid this whole round, as Zanon fought from the outside, weary of another big punch from Spinks. Spinks used the Hook and Uppercut effectively.
Round Three---Much like the 2nd, Spinks used the hook with effectiveness. Zanon seems to be getting the worst of it, and really needs toget back on track.
Round Four---Zanon found his bearing, and used straight punches and crosses late in the round to put in his best round yet.
Round Five---after eyeing each other early, Spinks strikes with a textbook combination, and put Zanon down for the count!
THE WINNER, at 0:45 of the 5th round, LEON SPINKS!!
Spinks post fight kept up an "I WANT YOUNG...I WANT YOUNG" chant, hoping that his last two early round KO's on his resume may sway the UBL govering board to grant him a title fight against champion Jimmy Young.
GOOD NIGHT---from the Phillipines!
Ken Norton vs James Tillis 10 Rounds October 25th, Cobo Hall, Detroit
A rejuvenated Ken Norton entered the hall with his sights set on another title shot. Up-and-coming James Tillis is looking to reestablish himself after suffering his first loss to Mercado. The oddsmakers had been cautiously optimistic on Norton's chances, given his track record against this style of fighter.
R1: Tillis was quick to tie-up when Norton got close. He took a hook to the head, but controlled much of the action w. jabs and straight rights. Norton flurried late to make it a tough round to score.
R2: Norton walked in and began to let his hands go. Good effective aggression from Norton, backing Tillis up. Tillis stood his ground a couple times and they had an exciting exchange, but no big damage done. Norton's jab found the mark late. Easy round for Norton...
R3: A solid first minute by Tillis as he timed his hook. A dangerous punch for Norton to take with his crab-style defense. Then Norton blasted him with a long right! Tillis was stunned and backed away. Norton pursued with a combination and Tillis bested him with a big combo of his own! Norton seemed a bit shaken now. Tillis tagged him with a another right. Then in the final 30 seconds, Norton came roaring back! A clean overhand right rocked Tillis! Norton wailed on him as only the ropes seemed to keep him from falling!!! Saved by the bell... Wow!
R4: Tillis went back to his jab successfully. Norton jabbed with him at times. The action heated up in the final minute when Norton connected with a hard hook and Tillis darted in-and-out with short combinations. Good recovery for Tillis after being on the brink.
R5: Norton began to bore his way inside, scoring a pair of hard digs to the ribs! From my seat on press row, they sounded painful. Another explosive right from Norton staggered Tillis near the 2-minute mark! Tillis weathered another combination and was able to stay away. A huge round for Norton, that may be scored 10-8.
R6-8: The action slowed down as both fighter's pumped their jabs. Tillis did not seem the same. More movement, more juking, less punching... Tillis displayed nice defense at times, but didn't punch enough, and so Norton had the advantage based on aggression.
R9: Perhaps Tillis' finest moment of the fight came at the opening of the 9th, when he ducked a Norton hook and countered nicely with a quick cross! But later in the round, Norton caught him again with big right, driving him into the ropes! Another exchange of jabs followed.
Clearly trailing, Tillis' corner urged him to go for broke. Feeling confident, Norton wanted to close the show and make a statement. A recipe for great action...
R10: Tillis came out with a nice combination. Norton punched with him in a heavy flurry that got the crowd out of their seats! They continued to trade evenly through the first minute. Another nice counter-shot scored for Tillis, then he bounced a good hook off the head. With Tillis throwing more leather, Norton found his opening and drilled Tillis with straight right, sending him to the canvas for a 6-count!! A shaky Tillis was able to evade Norton for a while, but when Norton hammered him on the ropes, the ref stepped in to save the day! It's over!
TKO, 2:21 of the final round!
UBL November Rankings - 1980
Champ Jimmy Young 1 Larry Holmes 2 Leon Spinks 3 Leroy Jones 4 Ken Norton 5 Randall Cobb 6 Lorenzo Zanon 7 Earnie Shavers 8 Mike Weaver 9 Scott LeDoux 10 Gerrie Coutzee
LARRY HOLMES VS RANDALL COBB
Saturday, Nov 15,1980 saw an early pre-thanksgiving chill in the air outside the Philadelphia Spectrum, as what seemed like the entire town of Easton PA filed in to see their favorite son and former champion Larry Holmes take his first step back in an attempt to reclaim the heavyweight championship. Easton is Larry's hometown; about 50-60 miles to the north of Philadelphia. Holmes's opponnant is Randy "Tex" Cobb.
Holmes comes in ranked #1, having lost the title to Jimmy Young. Cobb is ranked #5, and most recently scored a KO win over Gerrie Coetzee. Holmes is confident of a win, but wants to make sure that it is dominating enough to convince the UBL to give him the next title shot. The #5 Cobb is a rough-and-tough brawler with little in the way of pure scientific skills, but posesses an iron jaw, and refuses to let any shot put him on the canvass. Cobb hopes to see a mistake from Holmes, and pounce into that opening.
The judges are Joe Cortez, Harry Gibbs, and Les Muller. The referee is the capable Tony Perez. We're scheduled for 12 rounds, and with Cobb's reputation, we very well might need them all!!
Rounds 1 and 2---Holmes lands punches at will. Hooks, crosses, combos---he lands them all. Unsurprisingly, Cobb absorbes them all.
Round 3--Holmes staggers Cobb early in the round with a straight punch. A clash of heads produces a minor cut above Tex's left eye.
Round 4---Holmes works the cross alot during the round and puts in a repeat of his 1st and 2nd round performance.
Round 5---Two crushing straight punches by Holmes right from the bell hurt Cobb, who just can't find a decent punch to land.
Round 6---Frustration by Cobb early, and he is tagged with a marginal foul. Holmes has none of that, and fights dirty with dirty---it's a flagrant foul against Holmes, and a stern talking-to from Perez. Holmes then goes back to what has been working---just simply hit Big Tex as many times as possible.
Round 7---Kind of an off-round. Not much action. One highlight was during a clinch, Cobb get's a butt that swells his left eye a bit.
Round 8---Holmes has hit Cobb with everything but the kitchen sink, but Cobb, of course, refuses to go down. Two colossal straight punches by Holmes close the round
Round 9---Holmes senses that the end is near, and he's right. After scoring at will not just this round but all fight, a hook and a straight punch land, and it's all that Referee Tony Perez needs to see. He steps in and stops it.
THE WINNER---at 2:43 of the 9th round, by technical knockout---the EASTON ASSASAIN---LARRY HOLMES!
SCOTT LEDOUX vs JOHN TATE 10 Rounds Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota
Both of these fighters suffered knockout losses last summer, so in this contest they are both looking for redemption. Ironically, Tate is returning to the scene of his defeat to Ken Norton and the fans won't cut him any slack as he steps in against Minnesota's own Fighting Frenchman.
R1: Inspired by the crowd, LeDoux put his head down and charged in. Uppercuts and hooks scored consistently and whipped the fans into a quick frenzy! With 20-seconds remaining, Tate landed a good hook, but LeDoux snapped his head back with a bruising straight punch. A big opening round for LeDoux!
R2: More of the same. LeDoux kept dishing it out. Tate couldn't seem to solve LeDoux's uppercut! About mid-way through this round Tate began to battle back with crosses and hooks. Good exchanges, but LeDoux's aggression clearly won this round. However, LeDoux's right eye was swelling quickly.
R3: They traded combinations, then a Big John straight punch smashed LeDoux's nose and it began to flow. Tate picked up momentum and began to hammer LeDoux with heavy uppercuts and hooks! In the final minute, Tate began to box and his jab did some damage as well. Big turnaround for Big John!
R4: LeDoux seemed determine to reestablish his aggression, but Tate was not backing down. There was a huge flurry to start the round! Then Tate went to the body with several hard shots. LeDoux answered with a clean double hook. Tate came back with a 5-punch combination! This is a war! LeDoux was forced to cover-up as Tate imposed his will landing several more solid punches. Another great round for Tate. This is the best action we've seen from him. Fortunately for LeDoux his eye did not seem to be getting much worse.
R5-6: But in the next pair of rounds, they did not maintain the frantic pace of the first four. How could they? Tate fought from the outside with jabs and hooks. LeDoux kept pressing-in and chopping away with hooks and combos to the body, occassionally scoring upstairs with a cross. Edge to LeDoux...
R7-9: The action picked up slightly in the next three rounds. In the 7th & 8th, Tate stood his ground and they pounded away on the inside. This was turning into a grueling contest. LeDoux got the better of it, but it would be close on the scorecards. In the 9th, there were a few brawling flashes that brought the crowd out of their seats. Excellent exchanges with no clear edge to either man... A clean uppercut before the bell may have been the difference for LeDoux.
R10: Most of the crowd remained standing as they cheered LeDoux down the stretch. Solid give-and-take action in the first minute as both men connected with uppercuts and combinations. But in the final two minutes of the fight, LeDoux kept pouring it on and forced Tate to back up. Nice finish for the home favorite!
The scorecards read: 98-92 (twice), and 97-93. A unanimous decision for Scott LeDoux!
It was an excellent fight that had several twists in only 10 rounds. Although Tate failed to regain a ranked position, he still earned some respect with this performance.
December 9, 1980 For the Heavyweight Championship of the World: Jimmy Young vs Leon Spinks St. Louis Mo The Checkerdome
A capacity crowd filled the building formerly known as The Arena, scene of many historic sporting events and concerts. Under the guidance of boxing legend Gary Brown, the heavyweight boxing scene is unified and organized under the banner of the UBL.
Leon Spinks is hungry. He is fighting in his hometown and he wants to show the boxing world that he has the goods to once again become a champion! People still talk about his stunning upset of the great Muhammed Ali and although his reign was short he is determined to show that he is a champion.
Jimmy Young is also hungry. He is finally on top of the boxing world, having dethroned Larry Holmes. He is at last a champion and a deserving one and he wants to prove he is worthy and capable.
The question is: Who's hungrier?
The referee for this 15 round championship fight is the legendary Runy Goldstein. The judges at ringside are: Dick Young, Chung Doe Eung and Chuck Hassett.
The fighters have received their instructions and there's the bell!
Young opened with a left hook but Spinks ducked. Young jabbed and missed and Spinks landed a good left hook. Spinks tried an uppercut and that Young dodged but as Young dropped his guard for a split second, Spinks found him with a bug left hook and Young went down!! 8.....9....TEN!! The crowd is going crazy!!!!
The winner in 1:35 of Round One....and NEW Heavyweight Champion of the World...
Earnie Shavers vs Gerrie Coetzee 12 Rounds Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Shavers punched a hole in the rankings when he knocked-out Evangelista, now he has to defend his position. In the other corner, Coetzee started the year as a highly-ranked contender and has been sliding with two straight losses. He was deeply disappointed by the knockout defeat to Randall Cobb and now wants to make a statement against the most dangerous puncher of this era. That's a tough assignment.
R1: A mild start to this one. Both men connected with jabs. No solid punches landed. Coetzee scored with a pair of straight rights. Shavers was effective with hooks and uppercuts. Close round...
R2: The action picked up as they exchanged hooks. No surprise that Shavers appeared the harder puncher... Another hook riccocheted off Shavers' head, then they engaged in a wicked flurry with both landing solid blows! Shavers kept pressing and caught Coetzee clean with a compact hook! Coutzee went down! He was up at the count of 6 with less than a minute remaining. Coetzee did a fine job of tying up Shavers and moving away to avoid another bomb.
R3: Clearly Coetzee was trying to be careful. Lots of movement before Shavers final got to him with a sharp cross to the mustache region! Coetzee was stunned and continued to shuffle backwards while Shavers loaded up for the KO punch, but he couldn't land it. By the end of the round, Coutzee was stable again and began to box with jabs and crosses, but Shavers was definitely in command now.
R4: Chippy action in this round... Shavers started with a cross and a combo. Coetzee replied with an uppercut and a combo. Shavers was nicked under the left eye. Both men were warned for bad form. As Coetzee picked away with jabs and crosses, Shavers landed a heavy uppercut that opened a small cut under Coetzee's left eye.
R5: Coetzee seemed to be getting back into this fight. He waited for Shavers and twice landed excellent counter-punches. Then Coetzee challenged him with a big double left hook! Shavers obliged and they traded combinations! A clean hook rocked Coetzee! Shavers jumped on it and blasted through as Coetzee tried to lean away on the ropes, forcing him to take a knee for 4 seconds! Again Coetzee cleared his head enough to survive the round. With about 12 seconds remaining, they traded glancing combinations again. Just when Coetzee got the upper hand, Shavers' power took over...
R6: Coetzee came out firing; scoring a combination. Shavers countered with a brutal uppercut that jacked Coetzee into next year! He crashed to the canvas and this time there was no getting up!
KO at 0:26 into Round 6, for Earnie "the Destroyer" Shavers!
Well this is another devastating loss for Coetzee, who will drop out of the UBL rankings.
That wraps-up our first year of UBL action! I can't wait to see what 1981 has in store for us.
Champ Leon Spinks 1 Larry Holmes 2 Jimmy Young 3 Leroy Jones 4 Earnie Shavers 5 Ken Norton 6 Lorenzo Zanon 7 Randall Cobb 8 Mike Weaver 9 Scott LeDoux 10 Greg Page
An incredible run for the new champion... After starting the year with a draw against LeDoux, he went on to three straight knockout victories! Leroy Jones also had a great year with three wins, including a surprising KO of Mike Weaver. Holmes' recent domination of Cobb has him poised for another title fight.
Entering Post-Prime stage: Spinks, LeDoux (other post-prime fighters: Shavers, Young) Entering Decline stage: Zanon (other declining fighters: Norton)
Hello, fight fans! It's Saturday, Jan 3rd, 1981, and the fight scene for the year is kicked off in Louisville Kentucky with a 10 round Heavyweight bout between Greg Page and Alfredo Evangelista. Page, from Louisville, is ranked #10 already by the UBL, even though he's been fighting professionaly only a year and a half. 5 year veteran Evangelista, a native of Montivideo, Uruguay, needs a win against a ranked opponant to get himself back into the thick of the championship chase.
The fight originates from the scene of many of Page's early wins---The Louisville Gardens. Ringside judges are Fritz Werner, Chuck Hassett, and Samuel Conde, and Charley Daggert is your referee.
Round 1---Fairly non-descript until Evangelista staggers Page with Hooks and Combos, and the ropes and the 3-minute bell are all that hold Page up.
Round 2---Page will lay back this round, while Evangelista will go for the kill. Midway into the round, Page opens a very deep cut near Evangelista's right eye. But Evangelista finds the right distance and closes the round with a big hook to Page to get the best shot of the round in at the bell
Round 3---The highlight of the round were two big hooks late in the round by Evangelista.
Round 4---Page comes out stronger and lands a number of hooks and crosses, but a marginal foul by Page spoils an otherwise nice performance by Page
Round 5---This time, a marginal foul is committed by Evangelista, as Page controlled the action during the round.
Round 6---Another round of excellence by Page. Evangelista is noticably tiring, and the cut takes more and more work between rounds to stay closed.
Round 7---Page with hooks to the body, cross to the head, and a nifty head/body combination. Page tears another cut into Evangelista's right eye, and it's all that referee Charley Daggert needs to see. Due to the blood, he stops it.
YOUR WINNER---a TKO/RSF on cuts at 2:48 of round 7---GREG PAGE!!
At the time of the stoppage, judges Werner and Hassett had Page up by a point, while judge Conde had Evangelista up by a point.
World Heavyweight Championship LEON SPINKS vs KEN NORTON Superdome, New Orleans, Feb 20th, 1981
The new champion is on a roll, but will the past come back to haunt him? Norton is a fighter that Spinks was accused of ducking four years ago. Four years can make a big difference in the boxing world. These days, it is obvious that Norton is not the same fighter that had many great moments through the 70s. Meanwhile, Spinks is currently fighting as well as ever. The oddsmakers are pretty much split.
R1: Norton began with a lead right, but Spinks countered with a good uppercut. After some juking and moving, Norton dug in with a hook and a cross. His cross looks dangerous. Spinks came back with a cross and a jab. Close round... Probably even.
R2: Norton's jab seemed to surprise Spinks. It found the mark several times and some swelling was apparent around Spinks' left eye. Midway through the round, Spinks rallied with a hard straight punch. Norton handled it well. Spinks scored his uppercut again. Norton seems vulnerable to that one and he also had some swelling around his right eye as this round came to a close. Good pace... Another close round... I would give Norton a slight edge thus far.
R3: An aggressive start for Norton as he landed a combination. This seemed to spark the champion who replied with a nice combination about 30 seconds in. Spinks followed up with a pair of good hooks and Norton seemed to go into a shell. Another clean hook hammered Norton on the ropes! Norton fought off the ropes with a combination. Spinks pursued with a sizzling 1-2!... Excellent round for champ! The massive Superdome crowd was deafening.
R4: As this round wore on, Norton regained some steam. A clean straight right connected for Spinks with 1:52 remaining, but Norton shrugged it off. Another nasty uppercut scored for Spinks. Norton went back to his jab and drew some blood from Spinks' mouth. Then Norton evened things up with a hard right! In the final seconds, a hook and a straight punch scored for Spinks but it was too close to call. Good stuff from both men...
R5: This was a gritty round as they agreed to exchange in close quarters. Norton drove hooks to the body. Spinks with a nice counter-hook to the head... Lots of glancing and blocked punches. Spinks seemed a bit more effective overall.
R6: Spinks turned up the pressure. He came after the aging Norton with straight punches and hooks! Norton continually used the jab defensively. With about a minute remaining, Norton was stunned by a heavy right! Spinks tried it again, but couldn't land it clean. A confident Spinks seemed to toy with Norton in the final 30 seconds.
R7: Eddie Futch urged Norton to dig deep and fight back. The fighters traded a cross for a hook to start the round. Then Norton pounded hooks high and low to stir the crowd and back Spinks up! A hard overhand right seemed to stun Spinks! They clinched. Spinks seemed alright. They began to trade hook for hook. Norton got caught clean with a pulverizing hook and twisted down to the floor! This didn't look good. Norton was slow to recover and he was counted OUT!
Winner by Knockout, 2:22 of Round 7... Neon Leon Spinks!
Spinks is the first to successfully defend the UBL Heavyweight Title! He has KO'd four straight opponents and seems a solid champion. He also gets a measure of vindication for defeating Norton in this manner. Norton announced his retirement, saying that in the past he could find that extra strength to rise to the occassion, but this time it just wasn't there.
Saturday, March 14, 1981 The Rose Garden, Portland Oregon Randy Cobb (vs) Greg Page Scheduled for 12 rounds!
A tale of two fighers heading in different directions? Cobb was most recently decimated by former champion Larry Holmes, and Greg Page is coming off a TKO victory over Alfredo Evangelista.
The judges are Luis Rodriguez, Georgie Colon, and Yusako Yoshida. Your referee is Richard Young
Round 1---Both fighters traded a few punches, feeling each other out. Page lands a nice hook to end the round
Round 2---A combination by Page cuts Cobb above his left eye. Page worked jabs and hooks to score in the round
Round 3---Page with a couple straight punches, but no lasting effect on Cobb
Round 4---Cobb responds this round witha few combinations in his best round yet
Round 5---Page has a repeat of his performance in the third, utilizing straight punches to score punches, but they do no appreciable damage to iron-tough Cobb
Round 6---Cobb with a big hook staggers Page. A second hook stings Page as well. Page recovers to land a pair of hooks to end the round
Round 7---Marginal foul by Cobb closes a "lay back" type round by both Cobb and Page
Round 8---Both Cobb and Page are showing signs of fatigue. Neither was able to land any big punches.
Round 9---Hooks, uppercuts, and straight punches by Page for the first 2 minutes of the round. THen, a combo late by Cobb puts Page down to the cloth for a 7 count. The bell rang shortly after.
Round 10---Combination by Page bloodies Cobb's nose. Uppercuts and combos should have won the round for Page.
Round 11---Marginal foul by Page at the round's outset may express his frustration in not being able to get in the right series of punches to really hurt Cobb. The two traded punches for most of the round
Round 12---Both Cobb and Page saw the momentum of this round go back and forth, neither getting in the big punch needed to end the fight early.
I guess we go to the cards---
Judge Luis Rodriguez---114/114
Judge Georgie Colon---115/113 in favor of Page
Judge Yusako Yoshida---114/113 in favor of Page
YOUR WINNER---by majority decision---Greg Page!
GERRY COONEY (#10) VS RON STANDER 10 ROUNDS MARCH 9, 1981 CIVIC AUDITORIUM OMAHA, NEBRASKA
Referee: Mills Lane Judges: Lou Talet, Ole Overton and Tony Kazmarek
Stander, fighting once again at the scene of his title bout with Joe Frazier and before a largely home crowd, is considered to be in the declining stages of his career. He will be facing a man that RING Magazine considers one of the 100 Best Punchers of all Time---Gerry Cooney!
Cooney came out with a straight punch that Stander ducked. Stander came back with a left hook and Cooney ducked that, then threw a straight punch that caused some minor swelling in Stander's right eye. Cooney continued with another solid straight punch that increased the swelling and pressed his attack with a good right cross, a solid double jab and another straight punch that hit Stander solidly in the nose and caused it to bleed! Cooney ended the round with a good left hook. A BIG round for Gerry Cooney!
Stander came out slugging with a solid straight punch and a solid left uppercut! Cooney's punishment in round one seemed not to have fazed Stander at alland Cooney now sported a major cut above his right eye! Stander threw a solid right uppercut that nailed Cooney's right eye and deepened the cut! He tried to follow up with a right cross, but Cooney ducked and landed a good left hook to end the round but it was Stander's round on all cards, including mine!
Cooney opened with a good straight punch, but Stander answered with his uppercut! Cooney came right back with another straight punch and once again Stander's right eye began to swell. Cooney pressed with an uppercut and a combination and Stander went down!!! Stander got up at the count of 5 and took the mandatory 8 as Mills Lane checked him over. Cooney moved in but managed only a few weak punches. Stander was warned on a malicious foul as the bell sounded! A solid round for Cooney!
Cooney opened with a solid left hook, but Stander answered right back with a good right cross that landed solidly on Cooney's nose, causing it to bleed! Stander pressed his control with a solid left hook to the body and a good short hook, but once again he was called for hitting below the belt and this time Mills Lane called for a point to be taken away! An angry Stander took his frustration out on Cooney with a big left hook and a solid Body-Head combination! Cooney gamely threw a jab, but Stander ducked and ended the round with a good right cross! A BIG round for Stander!
Fatigue started to show as the two clinched at the bell. Stander again was called on a flagrant foul, but he completely dominated the round with unanswered scoring punches. Cooney did manage to land some solid punches amid a flurry at the end of the round, but I call it a good round for Stander!
In between rounds Cooney's corner men tried to pump their man up with a pep talk. It seemed to work as he came out aggressively throwing good punches. But Stander came right back and the two exchanged scoring punches throughout the round! I scored it even while the judges split.
Another close one that I scored for Stander who came out aggressively to start the round with short hooks. Cooney dominated the middle minute but Stander punctuated the round.
Cooney opened with a solid straight punch that opened a minor cut under Stander's left eye. He pressed on with a good left hook. The two exchanged glancing blows, then landed solid punches in an even flurry! Stander began landing punch after punch to end the round and take it on my card.
The two once again exchanged punches, then Stander began to to score with good punches unanswered by Cooney. But then they butted heads accidentally and the cut reopened in Stander's right eye. Ron Stander's face was now a crimson mask (RIP Gordon Solie) and Mills Lane called for the bell at 2:07! The winner by TKO on cuts---Gerry Cooney!
LARRY HOLMES vs LEROY JONES March 23rd, 1981 Caesar's Palace
Holmes has looked great since losing his title to Jimmy Young last year. A training camp injury forced him to back-out of a title shot versus Spinks. But 5 weeks later he is primed and ready to prove himself against the hottest up-and-coming contender. Holmes reportedly is fighting with renewed venom since overcoming the ankle sprain. In the other corner, Jones had a sensational year with victories over Evangelista, Cobb, and a knockout of Weaver to climb into the title contention. When his fight against Norton fell-through, the UBL compensated Jones with an elimination bout against Holmes.
R1: Jones and Holmes both tried combinations early, but nothing clean landed. Holmes jab looks quick and accurate. He uses it to setup the straight right. With 1:18 remaining, he stunned Jones with a crackling right! Jones is having trouble dealing with that jab and the round was a virtual shutout for Holmes.
R2-3: The pattern continued in the next two rounds. Holmes is jabbing the hell out of a pretty good boxer! Complete domination for Holmes thus far. Jones was not able to land any significant leather! A cut under the right eye of Jones was starting to look ugly.
R4: Hooks and jabs seemingly landing at will for Holmes... At the 1:19 mark, Jones got through with a nice jab that started a nick under Holmes' right eye. But now Jones' left eye was starting to swell in addition to the earlier cut under the right. Holmes was able to pick-off Jones' follow-up attempts with the jab. Holmes harder jab continued to damage Jones right eye. With about a minute remaining a gash near the right eye opened up and the fight was stopped. Rudy Valan waved the fight over! Holmes has guaranteed his return to the championship stage!
TKO 2:06, Round 4
Heaven help Leon Spinks, because Holmes is looking great!
UBL Heavyweight Rankings: April 1981
Champ Leon Spinks 1 Larry Holmes 2 Jimmy Young 3 Earnie Shavers 4 Mike Weaver 5 Leroy Jones 6 Greg Page 7 Randall Cobb 8 Scott LeDoux 9 Lorenzo Zanon 10 Gerry Cooney
It's April 1st and up-and-comer, John Dino Dennis is trying to make a name for himself but facing the aging star, Ron Lyle at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
Dennis seemed confident at the weigh-in, trying his best to intimidate Lyle. But Lyle, who had stood toe-to-toe with the best heavyweights was not having any of that.
Our judges for this April Fools Day bout are Hector Hernandez, Herb Santos and Adrian Morgan.
The referee is the legendary Davey Pearl.
Dennis answers the opening bell trying to show he is the dominant fighter, connecting with a solid hook, but Lyle isn't impressed and rocks Dennis with a solid hook that staggers the youngster.
Lyle follows with a straight right that starts some swelling around Dennis' left eye. Lyle is able to land some follow-up punches but Dennis gets on his bicycle for the rest of the round. Lyle a clear winner.
Dennis comes out the aggressor in the second round, landing a pair of jabs followed by a straight punch to the head.
Lyle responds with a combination to the body stopping Dennis and when Lyle tries for another combo Dennis shakes the punch and lands a counter.
Lyle finishes strong with an uppercut to the ribs, a short cross and another uppercut at the bell. Closer round, but it goes to Lyle.
Lyle is determined to set the tempo in the third and comes out aggressively with a hook that Dennis counters with a sharp jab. Dennis tries for another jab but Lyle counters with a good uppercut that slows Dennis. Lyle then lunches a flurry of uppercuts and hooks that hurt Dennis.
Dennis is fortunate enough to get into a clinch and slow the action, but round three is clearly Lyle's.
Between rounds Dennis' corner implores him to press the fight as the older Lyle, though ahead, seems to be tired after the big third round. Dennis obliges with a pair of hooks and a solid jab. Lyle looks dazed and Dennis seizes the chance and explodes with a sweeping hook that floors Lyle! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7- and Lyle forces himself up.
Dennis rains in blows but Lyle covers up and survives. He even manages a brief flurry, but round four is clearly Dennis' round.
Round five sees Lyle coming out the aggressor, trying to turn the fight back in his favor, landing a good hook, but Dennis shows his youthful stamina as he responds with a jab and a combo. Lyle forces a clinch and on the break lands a combo. Both fighters move in close and accidental head butt causes major swelling in Lyle's right eye.
The fighters dance in the middle and Lyle lands a good hook. This round is too close to call.
Round six starts with an aggressive Dennis landing a solid uppercut that stops Lyle in his tracks. Dennis takes advantage to land a great jab that opens up a deep cut under Lyle's right eye.
Pearl steps in and ends the fight by TKO at 0:31 in the 6th round.
At the stoppage Lyle was leading 48-46 on all cards.
John Dino Dennis is the winner! Will this move him closer to the top ten?
And is this the last we see of that great warrior, Ron Lyle?
BERNARDO MERCADO vs KALLIE KNOETZE April 10th, 1981 Miami Beach, FL 10 Rounds
On the undercard of the Shavers-Zanon main event, another notable heavyweight bout was scheduled. Mercado dropped out of the rankings last fall when he fell victim to current champion Leon Spinks. Now he is looking to reestablish his career against Knoetze, 19-5 (18KOs), who rarely ever fights outside of South Africa. Knoetze is believed to be a paper tiger with his only notable win of Duane Bobick in 1978. Mercado is heavily favored with the pro-Columbian crowd in attendance.
R1: Mercado came out firing. Knoetze's head was snapped back by a clean straight punch! Knoetze was stunned and backpedaled into the ropes! Mercado was all over him with hook after hook! When Knoetze found his legs again, he battled back with combinations! Mercardo with another hard hook... Knoetze came back with two heavy hooks of his own. Nice rally by Knoetze, but it wasn't enough to steal the round.
R2: After the wild flailing action of Round One, Mercado settled down and boxed in this round. Mercado was the busier fighter, scoring jabs and combinations mostly. Knoetze's only notable punch was his hook which he landed clean on one occassion. Mercado is off to a great start...
R3: Mercado kept working the game plan; jabs then combinations. Knoetze showed a willingness to trade now and they had an even exchange. Mercado landed a punishing combo to the head! Knoetze backed away from Mercado's jabbing. Then Knoetze dug in with a huge hook and Mercado crashed to the canvas! Unbelievable! Mercado was hurt! After an 8-count, Mercado tried to steady himself on wobbly legs. Knoetze was very cool in pursuit. Stalking... Then Knoetze rocked him with another clean right, followed by a barrage of punches that sent Mercado slumping down the ropes with only 2 seconds remaining. Mercado could not be saved by the bell... the count continued... 8...9...10!! Knoetze has knocked-out Mercado in what was supposed to be a tune-up fight!
Knoetze joins John Dino Denis with chance to break into the UBL rankings.
Gerrie Coetzee vs Jose Roman
Saturday, April 18, 1981--Sun City, South Africa. It's homecomming for heavyweight boxer Gerrie Coetzee, hoping to get himself back into the top ten with a bout against Jose Roman. Coetzee really needs a strong showing in this one to be taken seriously once again by UBL officials, while oldster Jose Roman is hoping for one last shot at greatness. Coetzee's big punch might be the deciding factor in this one, but don't underestimate the veteran cunning of Jose Roman.
The Judges are Rudy Ortega, Arlen Bynum, and Lou Tabet. Jamie Valencia will officiate in the squared circle. We're set for ten rounds, so let's get it on!...
Round one---Jab, hook, and cross by Coetzee score early, and cause a bloody nose on Roman. Roman closed the round with a nice point-scoring jab.
Round two---Roman causes Coetzee a bloody nose off a counter punch early in the round. Then a marginal foul by Roman. Straight punches and uppercuts by Coetzee late in the round might have won the South African that round.
Round three--Two tremendous hooks by Coetzee, and a quick wave-off by referee Jamie Valencia causes a questionable TKO win for Coetzee. Sure, Roman was staggered a bit by the two crushing hooks, but most ringside observers (those that were strictly objective and not outright cheering for the hometown boy) think that referee Valencia pulled the plug WAY too early. Roman is noticably irate at having the stoppage come, as he felt that he could continue.
YOUR WINNER---at 2:50 of the 3rd round, by TKO---GERRIE COETZEE!!
Post fight, Roman challenged Coetzee for a re-match anywhere in the world on any card, as long as it isn't in South Africa. Harsh words from Roman!!
EARNIE SHAVERS vs LORENZO ZANON April 10th, 1981 Miami Beach, FL Main Event - Scheduled 12 Rounds
Zanon's path to this point is similar to Mercado's, who just fought on the undercard. Zanon was knocked out by a resurgant Leon Spinks and now he is trying to end a two-fight losing streak after being stopped by Weaver in January. In this fight, Shavers is looking to legitimize his #3 ranking which was achieved via KOs over Evangelista and Coetzee. Shavers has benefitted from a lot of shuffling in the middle ranks and so he needed an impressive performance on this night.
R1-2: Shavers quickly showed that he wanted to get inside and hammer away at the body. He did so successfully, but this gave Zanon plenty of opportunities to score hooks and uppercuts to the head. Not much in the way of technical boxing, this was pretty much a hook-fest. Shavers' heavier punches gave him a slight edge, but Zanon was fighting well.
R3: This was a bit of a sloppy round. Shavers received a warning for low blows in the first minute. There was some grappling and a lot of blocked punches. Zanon took a monstrous hook to the body which seemed to hurt him, but he responded with a hook to Shavers' head.
R4: Having taken a big shot from Shavers, a bold Zanon came out and started taking the fight to him on the inside! Zanon scored hard uppercuts and hooks to the body. A big uppercut to the head, straightened Shavers up briefly. In the last 45 seconds, Shavers began to rally. He piled-on more body shots, then blasted Zanon with an uppercut to the head! Zanon covered-up on the ropes while Shavers went back to the body as the bell sounded. Wow!!! This was a grinding physical fight!
R5: They exchanged combinations in the first 30 seconds. Then the action was stopped momentarily as the referree deducted a point from Shavers. This seemed to spur Shavers on to increase the pressure. He stuck Zanon with a clean right that got a big response from the crowd, but Zanon handled it and came back with a hook yet again. In the final minute, Shavers used his jab to set up hooks effectively, but this was another close round.
R6: Seeing that Zanon was not going to go away easily, Shavers continued to pace himself with jabs and straight rights. Now Zanon seemed to be trying to smother him a bit. Near the midway mark, Zanon stepped back and ripped an uppercut that started a red flow from above Shavers' right eye! Whoa... It looked deep... Shavers came on and try to steal the round, but had a hard time landing clean.
R7: The cut was bad. Shavers' corner urged him to go all out. The veteran Shavers understood and came out throwing bombs! Zanon was not prepared for this onslaught and was pounded to the canvas with a pulverizing hook! Zanon was able to sit up but had the look of a man that didn't want to do this anymore and was counted out!
KO, 0:19 into Round 7
Were it not for Shavers' legendary punching power, Zanon had a good chance to win this one. But with a third straight stoppage loss, Zanon may well be at the end of his career.
Jimmy Young (#2) vs Scott LeDoux (#6) 12 Rounds April 18, 1981 Kiel Auditorium Saint Louis MO
An overflow crowd filled the legendary Kiel Auditorium as former UBL Champion Jimmy Young prepared to face Scott LeDoux in the main event. The referee is Joe O' Neill while the ringside judges are Mike Jacobs, Dick Young and Jay Edson.
ROUND ONE LeDoux opened with a good combination to the body. He would score again with that further into the round. Young ended with that left jab of his. I scored the round even while two of the judges gave it to Young and one to Ledoux.
ROUND TWO Ledoux again started the action with a good left hook to the body. He ended the round with two uppercuts. Young managed to find him a couple of times in the middle minute, but I scored it for LeDoux. Again the judges were split with two for Young and one for LeDoux.
ROUNDS THREE AND FOUR Round three began with an even exchange and ended with good scoring punches by Young. It was a big round for him! In round 4 he pressed his advantage, but LeDoux battled back. I scored it a close one for LeDoux but all 3 judges disagreed with me!
ROUNDS FIVE AND SIX LeDoux opened with a good left hook to the body. Both fighters scored through the round which was very close and again split between the judges.. Round six saw Young completely dominate as LeDoux had minor swelling under his left eye following an accidental headbutt at the bell. Great round for Young!
ROUNDS SEVEN AND EIGHT Young opened with a left hook, but LeDoux countered with a solid double jab. Young got the last word with a good combination and I scored it a close one for Jimmy Young. Round 8 opened with a good atraight punch from Young who dominated the round completely! The next two rounds were solidly Young's. Round 11 was close and split between the judges, but the final round was solidly in Young's column!
Here's the decision: 119-111, 118-111, 117-111 for the winner by unanimous decision: Jimmy Young!!
There were no knockdowns in the fight and LeDoux fought better than the scoring indicates. Some of the rounds could have gone either way! A great fight!
May 1981 Rankings
Champ Leon Spinks 1 Larry Holmes 2 Jimmy Young 3 Earnie Shavers 4 Mike Weaver 5 Greg Page 6 Scott LeDoux 7 Randall Cobb 8 Gerry Cooney 9 John Dino Denis 10 Kallie Knoetze
STEVENSON-TILLIS It's Saturday, May 30, 1981. Memorial Day for the nation, but here in Landover, MD--just a stone's throw from our nation's capital, it's a special day for a special fighter. After defecting from the Cuban National team, Teofilo Stevensen makes his long-awaited top-of-the-card debut as a professional heavyweight in the U B L. Commissioner Gary Brown worked with Stevenson's handlers to ensure that Stevenson will jump in with both feet right away, as he puts his reputation as the greatest amateur fighter of all time, with three Olympic Gold's to boot, on display against James "Quick" Tillis. Stevenson says that he defected from the Cuban National team because he could never realize his full potential as long as he remained an amateur. He hopes that by winning the UBL title it might in some small way ease the tension between the USA and Cuba.
Bert Randolph Sugar says that it's true that there is quality in the Heavyweight division right now, but there is not one fighter who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. Sugar predicts that Stevenson is that man.
Ringside judges are Juan Guerra, Roberto Ramirez, and Hal Miller. Carlos Padila is the referee. And in a nice touch on this memorial day, the special ringside bell will be rung for the ten frames in rotating rounds by members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
Round 1---Tillis stings Stevenson right away with a combination, but does no lasting damage. An accidental headbutt splits the skin above Tillis's left eye.
Round 2---Jab, combination, cross, and combination all in succession to start the round for Stevenson, with a punch causing a slit along the lip on Tillis. Although Tillis closed strong, this round was all Teofilo's.
Round 3---Fairly quiet round by both, as neither could establish an advantage.
Round 4---Stinging jab by Stevenson causes a bloody nose on Tillis. Then a big cross by Stevenson staggers Tillis. Big scoring round by the Cuban.
Round 5---A big cross late in the round was the defining punch of the round by Stevenson. He followed it up with shots to the head causing swelling around Tillis's left eye.
Round 6---A big cross by Stevenson at a buck-52 into the round puts Tillis on the canvas for a 5 count. Then two uppercuts by Stevenson, then a huge cross puts Tillis down for a nine count. The bell rang soon after. Stevenson should be able to put TIllis away before all ten rounds are needed.
Round 7---More swelling evident around Tillis's left eye. Stevenson seemed to lay off a bit this round. Most ringside observers felt he should have been more aggressive in the round.
Round 8---Tillis is hanging in there, and having a couple more scoring punches than Stevenson, he might have won the round.
Round 9---Very quite round. Stevenson had a couple nice jabs.
Round 10---Looking back a few rounds, we might not have thought it'd go this long. Marginal foul by Stevenson, and a stern warning from Padila. But otherwise, this round was all Stevenson.
We go to the scorecards, but it's really just academic.
Guerra scores it 98-90, Ramirez 98-91, and Miller 97-92, all to Teofilo Stevenson. It's a unanimous decision, and Stevenson has taken the first step in his quest to be the UBL heavyweight champion of the world!!
Randall "Tex" Cobb vs John Dino Denis May 8th, Sportatorium, Hollywood, FL 12 Rounds
After stopping Ron Lyle, Denis got this chance to reestablish himself as a world ranked heavyweight. In Cobb's last appearance he was on the wrong end of a controversial decision against Greg Page.
R1: The action was pretty rough in the opening stanza as both men were warned for fouls. Cobb found an opening for his uppercut and landed it squarely twice. Denis came up short on his jab until late in the round. Cobb also scored a pair of hooks to the head.
R2: Denis was more effective with his jab which set-up a good cross. Cobb answered with heavy hooks. Much more movement from Denis as Cobb stalked him. In the final minute, there were several exchanges with neither man landing a telling blow. A slight edge to Denis in this round.
R3: The action quickly built into slugfest. A cross from Cobb... Combination from Denis... Hard hook downstairs from Cobb. They traded combinations... Cobb blasted Denis with a hook to the jaw! Denis went down hard! He beat the count at 9 and the action resumed. Denis was still staggering! Cobb sent him sagging into the ropes with a clean right! Denis was up and nodded OK at the count of 7... Only 20 seconds to go... Maybe he'll survive this round. Cobb stuck him with a jab and then hammered him with the right again! Tony Perez saved Denis with only 9 seconds left!
TKO, 2:51 of Round 3 for Randall Cobb
A big disappointment for the Denis camp. He's not likely to stay in the rankings after this showing.
World Heavyweight Championship - 15 Rounds LEON SPINKS vs LARRY HOLMES May 17th, 1981 - Atlantic City Convention Center
Spinks is the first champion of the UBL era to successfully defend his title. He did so against a game, but fading Ken Norton. Meanwhile, former champion Larry Holmes has looked great since losing the title to Jimmy Young. Holmes dismantled both Cobb and Leroy Jones to arrive as the mandatory challenger. In camp he has remained serious and focused.
R1: Some customary juking started things off. Holmes seemed to respect the power that Spinks has displayed lately. Spinks caught him with a lunging straight punch which stunned the challenger momentarily. They traded combos, then Holmes came back with a long right of his own. Holmes tagged the champ with a nice double jab and Spinks covered and blocked punches late in the round. A slight edge to Holmes...
R2: Holmes seemed to find his rhythm and tatooed the champ with alternating jabs and hooks. Spinks scored one combination, but otherwise it was a solid round for the challenger. Spinks was nicked under the left eye.
R3: Early in the round, Holmes ducked into an uppercut and emerged bleeding... significantly! There was a gash above his right eye. Spinks surged withs hooks and combinations as Holmes tried to protect the cut! In the final minute, Holmes began to battle back with jabs and hooks in the same fashion as Round 2.
R4: An even exchange opened this round. Then Holmes backed Spinks up with a clean straight punch! Holmes again relied on jabs and hooks to control the action. The cut over Holmes right eye is holding up.
R5-7: For the next three rounds, Spinks picked-up the action. He stalked and began to really commit to his punches. Holmes used movement and his jab to nullify the worst that Spinks threw at him. About once each round, both men landed a clean shot, but yet neither fighter was staggered. The scoring in these rounds could go either way. Holmes' cut remained under control.
R8-9: Holmes really established control in the 8th. He was timing the jab perfectly and disrupting Spinks plans on offense. By the end of the 9th, Holmes was busting-up the champion. Spinks was bleeding from cuts around both eyes as well as a nick on his forehead. A heavy uppercut from Spinks may have stole the 9th, but no doubt that Holmes was in charge now.
R10-11: In the 10th, Holmes turned it up another notch. He lashed Spinks with the jab and then started unloading with a wicked rights! Spinks was able to defend himself enough to keep from being pulverized, but his left eye was swelling significantly by the end of the round. Holmes dispensed of the jab and threw power shots in the 11th. Spinks stood and traded with him on several occassions to keep it close.
R12: Fatigue was getting deep for both men and Mills Lane had to separate the fighters several times in this round. They often traded grazing combinations before getting tied up again.
R13: Spinks seemed to be running out of gas at this point. Holmes continued to chip away at him, but he didn't land any big shots.
R14: Both men were reluctant to get started. Feeling that the fight was slipping away, Spinks initiated some action at the 1-minute mark. He scored a combination and a clean thumping hook that was the best punch that the champ had landed in several rounds. Holmes woke up and answered with a several solid rights and snapped Spinks' head back with clean jabs. Lane moved in and stopped it as Spinks leaned back on the ropes bleeding!! Holmes has recaptured the World Heavyweight Title!!!
TKO 14, 2:38
GERRY COONEY VS RON STANDER May 20. 1981
St. Louis, Missouri The Checkerdome 10 Rounds of Heavyweight Boxing
After the bizarre ending of their previous match which was stopped after an accidental headbutt, a fight that saw Cooney ahead but had Stander coming back in the later rounds, the overflow crowd at Tne Checkerdome was more than ready for this rematch! Even more so since Larry Holmes had just recaptured the UBL title from Leon Spinks in Atlantic City just a few days earlier!
The referee for this fight was Tommy Kaczmarek. The ringside judges were: Al Pacheco, Zack Clayton and Jay Edson.
Cooney came out punching with a solid double hook! Then another big left hook that stunned Stander! They both blocked and missed punches, then it was Cooney scoring with a good left hook and a solid double hook! Stander landed his best punch of the round with a solid left uppercut, but Cooney scored with punch after punch to end the round in a big way! A big round for Cooney!
ROUNDS TWO THREE AND FOUR
Cooney dominated again in round two, but round three was much closer. I scored it as a close one for Cooney, as did all three judges! Stander came out the aggressor in round four, opening with a good combination and a solid left hook, Cooney came back in the middle minute and ended the round with a good solid left hook! I scored it even while the judges split two for Cooney and one for Stander!
ROUNDS FIVE, SIX AND SEVEN
Round five was Stander's biggest round as he completely dominated. Other than an even exchange in the middle minute, Cooney failed to land or throw a single punch! Big round for Stander! Cooney came back in round six. opening with a good left jab and following through with several scoring punches, one of which bloodied Stander's nose. Round seven opened with a clinch as both fighters were starting to tire. It was a close round, but all three judges scored it for Cooney as did I.
ROUNDS EIGHT< NINE AND TEN
Except for a good left hook in the middle minute by Stander, Cooney dominated round 8. Round 9 was close, but I scored it for Cooney, as did all three judges. Cooney didn't let up in the final round as he scored repeatedly. Stander only found him once, with a solid right uppercut but it was a big round for Cooney.
The judges were unanimous: 99-91, 99-91, 98-92 for the winner: Gerry Cooney!!!
UBL Rankings, June 1981
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Leon Spinks 3 Earnie Shavers 4 Mike Weaver 5 Greg Page 6 Randall Cobb 7 Scott LeDoux 8 Gerry Cooney 9 Kallie Knoetze 10 John Dino Denis
Kallie Knoetze vs Joe Bugner June 12th, 1981 Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa 10 Rounds
Knoetze broke-in to the UBL rankings with an impressive knockout of Bernardo Mercado in Florida. Now he must legitimize his position by defending against the rugged veteran, Joe Bugner, who is on the comeback trail after a 3-year layoff.
R1: Knoetze started with a nice short hook on the inside early, but Bugner showed good ring generalship to keep Knoetze out-of-sorts. Bugner threw some impressive long uppercuts, but only one of them scored. He was able to land hooks and crosses from several angles to gain a clear margin in the opening round.
R2: Again Knoetze caught him with the short hook. And again Bugner responded with volume punching. But in the latter half of the round, Knoetze opened up with some power-punches to even it up. With 30 seconds remaining, a cross drew blood from Knoetze's mouth. Good even action.
R3: The action continued to escalate into the 3rd. Knoetze came out with a great combination that got Bugner's attention. Then Bugner answered with a flurry and they both traded several combinations with reckless abandoned! Wow!! There was also an exchange of heavy uppercuts. Bugner kept the pressure on in the final seconds with a cross and big double hook! Knoetze was now bleeding severely above the left eye.
R4: The pace slowed down as the ref had to separate the fighters several times. Bugner's moment was a salty high-low combination early. Knoetze made it close with hooks and crosses.
R5: Knoetze nailed a clean hook to the head, but Bugner shook it off. They traded crosses and combinations. Heated action! Bugner complained of a low blow and Knoetze got a mild warning. Then Bugner blasted the hometown favorite with combination! Knoetze was stunned! He followed with the jab and cross and Knoetze's left eye was further aggravated - cut above and swelling below. But Knoetze stole the round with a huge combo of his own with only 3 seconds remaining! Holy cow!! The crowd was going crazy!
R6: Bugner changed his strategy and went to the body with effective hooks and combinations. Very smart disciplined boxing... Knoetze seemed to be running out of steam but offered some light resistance in the final minute.
R7: Just 9 seconds after the bell, Bugner found an opening for his hook and hammered Knoetze's jaw! Knoetze hit the deck! He is hurt, but regained his feet at the count of 8. Bugner stalked and measured... then he unleashed a series of wild punches as Knoetze blocked and slipped away. Knoetze tied him up a couple times to recover. A huge round for Bugner!
R8: Knoetze was still cautious and didn't take many chances. Bugner kept plugging away and simply out-worked him. By the end of the round, Bugner began to land that uppercut that he tried to connect with earlier in the fight.
R9: The pace picked up again. At this point, Knoetze used his jab to setup looping hooks. Meanwhile, Bugner beared-down with hooks on the inside. Both men were equally effective.
R10: Bugner ripped the South African with another body-head combination, causing Knoetze to clinch. Knoetze tried to stay away and a frustrated Bugner was called for a flagrant head butt! A point was deducted! A cross from Bugner started Knoetze's mouth bleeding again. They traded hooks down the stretch.
The scoring was greatly anticipated. Bugner had to know that a decision would be hard to get here - especially losing a point in the FINAL ROUND!
Two judges scored it 96-94 and the other had it 95-94 for a narrow unanimous decision for Joe Bugner! The comeback continues.
TATE-EVANGELISTA July 4, 1981...Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is an attempt by the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to stage something special on the Fourth Of July and maybe start a holiday tradition. Fireworks will follow, but the fireworks will be inside the squared circle as two noted heavyweight boxers will fight it out for 8 rounds. OK, neither are in the top ten of the UBL ratings, but hey...they have good reputations, both know their way around the ring, and know that a win just might make some people take a second look at them. These two men are John Tate and Alfredo Evangelista.
Olympic medalist John Tate most recently lost a unanimous decision to Scott LeDoux, and Alfredo Evangelista is comming off a TKO/CUTS loss to Greg Page. There are some whispers that the winner of this fight might make a good next opponant for the big Cuban, Teofilo Stevenson. For the loser?...well, that could mean they end up as "jobber-to-the-stars", to put it in wrestling terms.
The ringside judges are Vincent Rainone, Carol Polis, and Kazumasa Kumata. The referee is "the caffine man" Frank Cappuccino.
Round one---jab by Tate bloodies the nose of Evangelista not even a minute in. Evangelista respods with two nice hooks and an uppercut. Evangelista was a little too rambuncous, and was warned by the referee.
Round two---Tate worked the hook a number of times to win the round.
Round three---A big cross late in the round by Tate staggers Evangelista, then a Big Cross does further damage. Alfredo covered up to survive the last few seconds of the round.
Round four---Tate would like to continue on his two big previous rounds, but just can't correctly measure Evangelista. A big hook by Tate late in the round was the deciding punch in this otherwise even round.
Round five---A flagrant foul by Evangelista opens the round. They traded punches otherwise.
Round six---A noticably more aggressive Evangelista scores some nice body and head shots for the first minute of the round. Tate then took control and a big hook late in the round stuns Evangelista.
Round seven---This round was about a 2-1 punch count for Tate over Evangelista. Both fighters are quite tired at this point, and Tate should be able to put it in neutral for the last round coming up.
Round eight---This is it. And both showed fatigue. They traded a few punches back and forth, but nothing of note. We go to the scorecards, which might be in favor of Big John Tate.
Vincent Rainone has it as 76-76 (boos from the crowd)
Carol Polis has it 77-75 for John Tate
Kazumasa Kuwata also has it 77-75 for the winner, by majority decision, "Big" John Tate!!
Let the Fourth of July fireworks in Fort Wayne begin!!
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD FIGHT!!
JIMMY YOUNG vs EARNIE SHAVERS July 18, 1981, Caesar's Palace 12 Round Main Event
While Holmes is already engaged in negotiations for his next title defense, Shavers and Young will battle-it-out here to become the next mandatory challenger in September or October. You may recall that it was Young who upset Holmes to take his title about a year ago. Holmes and Young have both stated that they would welcome the rematch, but at the moment Young must get past the resurgent Shavers who has knocked-out everyone in his path to this point.
R1: Shavers came out throwing vicious hooks! Young rolled with it and as the round progressed, he was able to duck, block, and counterpunch effectively. Aside from the burst at the start, this was a quiet round, close round... Depends on whether you favor Shaver's aggression or Young's technical skills.
R2: The pace picked up with the fighters exchanging combinations early. Then Young's hook found the mark. Shaver's couldn't seem to adjust to it and Young tagged him with it over and over. Gaining confidence, Young ripped him with a crackling combination that buckled Shavers knees briefly! More hooks and another combo punctuated a great round for Young.
R3: Shavers head was snapped back by a clean right! He replied with a big double hook, driving Young to the ropes! That set a tone for this round. The action was measured, but every time one man landed good leather, the other responded in kind. By the time the bell rung, Young was bleeding from his mouth from an uppercut and Shavers' right eye was swelling from jabs.
R4: Shavers was determined to get inside, but Young made him pay the price in the first minute and a half. However, persistence paid off and Shavers began to score to the body in the latter half of the round.
R5-6: Punch volume increased by both as they exchanged hard combinations to open the fifth. From that point, it seemed like a combo contest. Unfortunately for Shavers, Young's combinations were more crisp and he clearly won both rounds. Some swelling was also raised around Shavers' right eye...
R7: Just past the 1-minute mark, Young again scored another solid combo, but Shavers soon answered with a straight right causing a nick under Young's left eye. Shavers attempted to capitalize on that momentum, but Young slipped away and scored a beautiful counter-uppercut. Young's jab then aggravated the swelling eyes of Shavers.
R8: Young boxed confidentally and seemed to be frustrating Shavers, who was warned for a foul. Approaching the 2-minute mark, Shavers stood Young up with an wicked uppercut! Moments later, he connected with it again! The crowd came to their feet thinking that Young was hurt. The round ended with a clinch and a clash of heads that opened a cut over Shavers' left eye.
R9: They met with an exciting flurry. After a mild warning to Young, he controlled distance with solid jabs. Shavers occasionally would trade a combination with him, but the rest of the time, Young was in control. A 3-punch combo to the head stunned Shavers before the bell.
R10: Shavers still endeavored to get inside, while Young tatooed coming in. Young had to absorb one heavy combo, but was otherwise in charge. Young was landing more and more clean punches.
R11: Young seemed to score at will. Combination... Straight punch... Another combo... Hook... Shavers couldn't land anything and seemed completely spent. At 1:32 the referree stopped the punishment! A big stoppage for Jimmy Young!
TKO, 1:32 of Round 11
SAINT LOUIS MO JULY 22, 1981 The Checkerdome
SEMI-FINAL BOUT Scott LeDoux vs Renaldo Snipes Ten Rounds UBL Sanctioned Heavyweights
Currently ranked #7 going in, Scott LeDoux faced Renaldo Snipes. The referee is the legendary Ruby Goldstein. The judges at ringide are Oscar Oppen, Carol Castellano and Arlen Byron.
ROUNDS ONE THROUGH FOUR
LeDoux started the action aggressively with a left uppercut that stunned Snipes! He maintained that control throughout the opening round. Snipes managed only a double jab. A big round for the veteran LeDoux! After some juking and moving to start the second round Snipes threw a good left jab that opened a deep cut near the right eye of LeDoux. LeDoux still managed to land and score , but I gave Snipes the round as did all three judges. It was close however!
LeDoux began round three with a solid right cross that opened a minor cut above Snipes' left eye. He followed up with some good scoring punches, but Snipes began to find him by the middle of the second minute and LeDoux was unable to land a punch for the rest of the round! I scored it for Snipes as did two of the judges.
The fourth round was a tale of two fighters as Snipes dominated the first half and LeDoux controlled the second.
Snipes landed a solid left jab that reopened the earlier cut near LeDoux's right eye and blood poured out. It was a clean shot and LeDoux's face was instantly covered with blood! Ruby Goldstein called for the bell and stopped the fight only 8 seconds into the round!
The winner via TKO--Renaldo Snipes!
Coming up---the Main Event! 4th ranked Mike Weaver vs 5th ranked Greg Page! Scheduled for 12 rounds!
WEAVER-PAGE Excitement filled the air as Mike Weaver and Greg Page made their way to the ring. These are two fighters very much in the UBL Heavyweight Championship hunt, ranked 4th and 5th respectively!
The referee for this one is Dick Young with the ringside judges remaining the same as in the LeDoux-Snipes fight.
ROUNDS ONE THROUGH FOUR
Page wasted no time coming after Weaver from the bell, opening the action with a straight punch that sent Weaver down for an eight count! It was a big round for Page!
Round two saw the two fighters trade punches back and forth. I scored it as a close round for Page while the judges split 2-1 for Page. Round three was almost a repeat of round two and again I scored it a close one for Page. All three judges agreed.
Weaver began to take charge in the fourth round, completely dominating with punch after punch! A big one for Weaver!
ROUNDS FIVE AND SIX
Round five saw Weaver land more punches, but Page scored in the middle minute with a straight punch and also fared better in an even exchange! Round six saw Weaver open with a right cross that Page dodged. Page then stunned Weaver with a straight punch and went on to dominate the round and win it on all cards.
Page opened with a good left hook and Weaver's mouth began to bleed. Page continued with a straight punch, but Weaver found him with a Solid left hook. He tried another, but Page ducked and threw a series of straight punches...ending the round with a good left hook. Big round for Page!
Undaunted by Page's dominance Weaver came out with a solid right cross. Page countered with a combination and Weaver's mouth began to bleed again! But the blood seemed to energize Weaver as he stunned Page with a right cross! Page came back in the final minute with some good punches but I scored it a good round for Weaver as did the judges!
Round nine was another round that saw the two exchange punches back and forth! Weaver's dominance of the final minute put it in his column.
ROUNDS TEN AND ELEVEN
It seemed to be a fight that could go either way at this point. After two minutes of exchanging scoring punches, both fighters appeared to tire in the final minute of round ten as neither landed a punch. I scored it Page by a slight edge and the judges agreed. Round eleven saw more punches thrown by both fighters. I scored it a close one for Page while the judges were split 2-1 for him.
The two touched gloves as the bell rang for the final round! Weaver opened with a straight punch. Page answered with a solid straight punch to the head. They exchanged punches with Page ending the fight with a solid uppercut to the body! I scored the round even while all three judges gave it to Page.
Here is the decision: 116-111, 116-111, 114-113 for the winner by unanimous decision---Greg Page!!!!!
UBL Rankings, August 1981
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Leon Spinks 3 Greg Page 4 Mike Weaver 5 Earnie Shavers 6 Randall Cobb 7 Gerry Cooney 8 Renaldo Snipes 9 Joe Bugner 10 Scott LeDoux
Randy Stephens vs Jose Roman Dallas Convention Center August 1st, 1981 8 Rounds
Local cruiserweight Randy Stephens decided to step-up to the heavyweights and test himself against Jose Roman. Most experts believe that Roman is in the twilight of his career. In his last outing he was TKO'd in under three rounds by Coetzee.
Roman started aggressively trying to overpower the naturally smaller man. Stephens weathered it and landed a pair of big rights to floor Roman in the first round! Roman was in bad shape and Stephens tried desperately to put him away, but Roman survived. The next several rounds were back-n-forth with Stephens winning one round and Roman winning the next. Stephens scored by darting in and out with jabs and crosses, while Roman's plan was to smother Stephens and score combinations high and low. The middle rounds belonged to Stephens who was building a nice lead by then, but in the final three rounds Roman kept plugging away. Roman's focus on the body seemed to be paying off, but Stephens held-up to the final bell.
Did Roman do enough to erase his early deficit? Nope. The cards read 78-74 twice and 77-75 all for Stephens.
Joe Bugner vs Ron Stander August 7th, 1981 - Atlantic City 10 Rounds
Bugner broke into the rankings with a decision over Kallie Knoetze in South Africa. He was impressive enough to overcome the home advantage. Stander came up short in a pair of tilts against Cooney and is ready for a fresh start.
R1: The fight started with spirited flurry by both men. Good punch-for-punch action with lots of meaningful hooks. Stander seemed to get the edge with several solid shots in the final 30 seconds.
R2: Bugner decided to give back some of that rough-n-tumble medicine in this round. He shot straight rights through Stander's guard early. However, the ref halted the action to warn Bugner about his tactics. Stander worked his way inside and scored a crunching uppercut which started some swelling over Bugner's right eye. Another clean right landed for Bugner to win this round.
R3: A clean hook set the tone for Bugner, followed by a sweet counter-cross. Stander went into a shell and Bugner went on an unabated assault! Scoreing hook after hook! Stander was not staggered, but he simply couldn't get his punches off. Bugner mixed-in a few probing jabs in the final minute. Big round for Bugner!!
R4: In the corner, Stander insisted that he knew what he was doin' and he came out to brawl. And brawl they did! These fighters traded hooks by the ton! Everything seemed to be landing! A true war of attrition. Bugner seemed stunned in the final minute allowing Stander to win the round.
R5: As Stander continued to bear down on him, Bugner began to move and jab. Although Stander landed some good shots, the tactic paid-off an allowed Bugner to dictate the action better.
R6: Stander pressed even harder with a 1-minute assault. Uppercut... Hook... Body shot.. Combination... but nothing landed squarely. He left himself open and Bugner cracked him with a hook to the jaw! Stander was shaken but he covered well. I saw this as an even round. Bugner is getting increasingly upset with the referee.
R7: Bugner worked the jab more as Stander sought to get inside. Both fighters had some success in another round too close to call. A late jab by Bugner may have been the difference.
R8: Much like round 3, Bugner connected with a heavy hook and then dialed up the pressure! Only 43 seconds into the round, Referee Tommy Thomas stopped the action and deducted a point from Bugner! An angry Bugner responded by beating Stander all around the ring with a barrage of hooks! In the final 34 seconds, Stander was in deep trouble, struggling to keep his feet! Bugner's round 9-8!
R9: Both men were obviously fatigued. They missed more than they hit. A determined Stander continued to wing hooks and was able to land a couple of them to get the nod in my book.
R10: After cruising in the previous round, Bugner seemed to have a little more in the tank. Stander landed some nice shots, but Bugner's punches had more steam at this point. A series of hooks seemed to seal the fight for Bugner, but Stander got the final word with a clean counter-hook at the bell!
Nice fight! No knockdowns, but great brawling action.
The decision was unanimous: 96-92, 96-91 (twice) for Bugner!
COETZEE-KNOETZE AUGUST 13, 1981 ST. LOUIS, MO KIEL AUDITORIUM
In the first of a double main event, Gerrie Coetzee and Kallie Knoetze squared off for a scheduled 10 round heavyweight match sanctioned by the UBL.
Knoetze started the action strong, stunning Coetzee with a straight punch right from the bell! He dominated the first minute and a half, bloodying Coetzee's nose in the process. Coeztee scored in the last minute and a half of the round, but I gave the edge to Knoetze. Two of the judges agreed while one split for Coetzee.
In the second round Knoetze once again opened th action with a hook to the body but from that point on it was all Coetzee and all three judges, along with myself, scored it solidly for him.
For the third straight round Knoetze scored right from the bell, but it was all Coetzee from then on and once again I and the judges scored it solidly in his column.
Juking and moving to start the fourth round both fighters looked for an opening. Coetzee found it first with a solid right uppercut and dominated the remainder of the round. Another big one in his column!
The fighters exchanged blocked and missed punches to start round five. A right cross from Knoetze caused blood to flow from Coetzee's mouth, but Coetzee landed several scoring punches. I scored it as a close round for Coetzee while the judges split 2-1 in his favor!
After an even flurry to start round six
with solid punches landed by both fighters Coeztee again dominated to score a big round in his column!
Save for a good straight punch in the first minute by Knoetze round seven was all Coetzee.
Round eight turned out to be Knoetze's best round as he answered Coetzee's punches with solid left hooks, double hooks and a big combination that stunned Coetzee to end a big round for Knoetze! But was it enough to get him back into the fight?
After some juking and moving to start round nine Coetzee regained control! A big left hook in the second minute stunned Knoetze but when Coetzee tried to finish him a fired up Knoetze answered aggressively with a solid hook to the head! He followed it up with a solid straight punch, but Coetzee finished the round strong in the final minute to cinch it in his column on all cards!
So now we come to the final round. Knowing that he was probably trailing by too big a margin to gain a decision, Knoetze came out aggressively with a solid straight punch. Coetzee threw a left jab but Knoetze ducked and countered with a good left jab. Thebn Coetzee once again took control with a good left hook, a straight punch, a left jab, a right cross and another left jab that once again bloodied Knoetze's nose at the bell to end the fight!
The score was 98-92 on all three judge's cards for the winner by unanimous decision--Gerrie Coetzee!
Next up--ranked fighter Gerry Cooney faces Cuban Heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson in his American professional debut! Stay tuned
GERRY COONEY VS TEOFILO STEVENSON TEN ROUNDS
The fight began with both fighters exchanging glancing blows, then juking and moving as they looked for an opening. Cooney found Stevenson with a good left jab, but the Cuban answered with a solid left hook to the body! They clinched and referee Tony Thomas seperated them. Stevenson landed a good short left hook, but Cooney responded with a straight punch. Stevenson came back with a good left uppercut but Cooney landed a big left hook that sent Stevenson down! He got up at 8 with just 5 seconds left in the round! A big round for Cooney with the knockdown!
After some cautious juking and moving Cooney landed a big left hook that stunned Stevenson! He followed up with another left hook and a straight punch. Stevenson missed with a jab but then landed a good left hook. But Cooney answered right back with one of his own. Stevenson threw another that stunned Cooney--his best punch of the fight thus far! I scored a close round for Cooney and two of the judges agreed.
Round three was easily Stevenson's best round. Both fighters scored, but it was a right cross by the Cuban that made Cooney's knees buckle slightly! I scored it as a big round for Stevenson and the judges concurred. Round four was similar though no big punches were landed. I scored it for Stevenson and the judges agreed 2-1.
Cooney came back strong in round five, decking Stevenson once again for a six count, but his attempt to finish him off was weak. I scored it solidly for Cooney as did all three judges.
In round six Stevenson failed to land a single punch and seemed to be finished. Cooney came out jabbing in the 7th, but Stevenson came to life with a solid double hook followed by another left hook that stunned Cooney! Gerry shook it off and the two traded punches for the rest of the round. I scored it for Stevenson and the judges concurred.
After a good right cross by Cooney to start round eight Stevenson threw an uppercut that once again buckled Cooney's knees! He managed to stay on his feet and land a few decent punches but Stevenson's had much more power and won the round handily. Round nine was very close. I gave it to Cooney because he dominated the second minute and finished the round with a solid uppercut. The judges were split 2-1 in Cooney's favor.
Although he had been knocked down twice, Stevenson was impressive in not only surviving the knockdowns but in winning enough rounds to have a good shot at a decision. He came out with that mentality, scoring with an uppercut, a good hook and a combination. Cooney managed a solid left hook but Stevenson once again threw an uppercut that stunned Cooney! And then another! Cooney gamely stayed on his feet. Stevenson jabbed and Cooney had the last word with a straight punch! I scored it solidly for Stevenson!
The two embraced warmly as they awaited the decision:
95-95, 95-92 and 96-92 for the winner by majority decision:
I actually scored the fight even myself but it was very close! Cooney's inability to put Stevenson away after knocking him down twice did not bode well. On the other hand, you have to give him credit for surviving some big punches from the Cuban.
LEON SPINKS vs RANDALL COBB August 29th, 1981, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas 12 Rounds
This is Spinks first fight since surrendering his title to Holmes in May via a grueling 14th round TKO. Cobb was last seen destroying John Dino Denis in under three rounds.
R1: Cobb wasted no time and went hard to the body. Spinks responded with a series of hooks and he slowed Cobb's inside attack. The action was measured for the rest of the round. Spinks scored an occasional right, while Cobb continued to press-in with body shots.
R2: Both men threw lots of hooks in this round. Cobb was busier in the first minute, but in the latter half, they just took turns bouncing hooks off the head of one another.
R3: Spinks engaged Cobb at close quarters and seemed to get the better of it! Both fighters endured a pounding to the mid-section, but a flurry by Spinks at the mid-point was the difference.
R4: Spinks built on that momentum with a crunching body shot that caused Cobb to clinch. He followed with scoring combination and a nice cross, before Cobb answered with a flurry. Then the brawl was on! They both landed hard shots over several frantic exchanges to bring the crowd to their feet!
R5: Spinks held the advantage in first minute. A big hook stunned Cobb at the 47-second mark! Spinks tried to put him away with long straight punches, but Cobb came back with powerful uppercuts that drove Spinks back! Cobb pressed the action in the final minute to gain the edge in this round.
R6: Cobb was in command now. He plodded forward and persistently chopped-away at Spinks with hooks high and low. Spinks rallied late, but it wasn't enough. He returned to the corner with swelling under his right eye.
R7: Perhaps Spinks was cruising in the preivious round, because he came out with a clean hook to set a new tone. They stood toe-to-toe and landed short bruising shots on the inside. Late in the round, Spinks connected with his big hook again. Good round for Spinks!
R8: This time Cobb wobbled Spinks with hook! Spinks instinctively fired back and they both landed hard shots upstairs! Great action again as neither man would back down. The round was full of even exchanges, but the first minute was huge for Cobb.
R9-10: After another big flurry to start the 9th, Spinks began to box. He mixed up his punches and controlled distance better, which largely neutralized Cobb's game plan. Cobb's inside uppercut was his best weapon, but he was warned for a low blow.
R11: Undeterred, Cobb went higher with the uppercut and continued to throw heavy hooks to the body. Spinks tried to rally late again, but this appeared to be Cobb's round.
Going into the final round, this fight was very close. I think Cobb had a slight edge as he had been more consistent.
R12: Spinks came out and took the action to Cobb! Whoa... Didn't expect this... He landed combinations and another thunderous hook to the head! Just over one minute into the round, Cobb battled back with a heavy burst of punches! The action got chaotic. Cobb's right eye was swelling suddenly. In the final seconds a clash of heads opened a big cut over Cobb's battered right eye. A strong finish for Spinks.
It's over and I pondered who won this thing... No knockdowns, although both men were stunned at some point. Spinks was staggered in the 8th, but came back well. Both men suffered swelling.
Sure enough. It's a majority draw! 114-114 (twice) and 115-113 for Cobb.
UBL Heavyweight Rankings, Sept 1981
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Greg Page 3 Leon Spinks 4 Randall Cobb 5 Earnie Shavers 6 Gerry Cooney 7 Mike Weaver 8 Renaldo Snipes 9 Joe Bugner 10 Scott LeDoux
Earnie Shavers vs John Dino Denis Sept 4th, 1981 Scranton, PA 10 Rounds
Both of these fighters are trying to bounce back from TKO losses. Shavers wants to prove that he is still viable for a title challenge. Denis would just like to pull an upset and get back into the UBL rankings.
R1: After a slow first minute, Shavers began to unleash some bombs at Denis' head. A couple of them got through, but Denis absorbed them in a defensive shell. Eventually Denis stuck Shavers with a solid jab to slow him down a bit.
R2: Setting a new tone, it was Denis that came out throwing hooks and he got the better of it early. Showing some ring savvy, Shavers scored with good counter-punching. Then Shavers stung him with a jab which set-up a straight right that drilled Denis to the floor! Not a chance. He's done!
KO 2:55 of Round 2
Alfredo Evangelista (vs) James "Quick" Tillis September 1981 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada.
Round one---Two quick uppercuts from Evangelista sting Tillis. Tillis then blocked a punch, but Evangelista snuck in two more uppercuts. And the round ended with two MORE uppercuts from Alfredo. Good round for Evangelista.
Round two---Evangelista mixed in a cross and hook with two more uppercuts. Each fighter was charged with a flagrant foul towards the end of the round, and Evangelista has a small cut under his right eye.
Round three---Pretty even round. Evangelista now has a matching cut under his left eye. Nothing major, though.
Round four---Cross and hook by Tillis, then a nice combo from Evangelista puts Tillis on the ropes. Evangelista was too aggressive, however, and had a marginal foul chalked up against him. Now, Evangelista's right eye begins to swell noticebly midway thru the round. Nice straight punch by Alfredo closes the round, which was pretty even all in all.
Round five---Pretty hesitant round by both. Tillis just not able to find the range, and Evangelista took some steam off as to not incur another foul from the referee. Call the round for Evangelista as he seemed to be the only of the two willing to try a semi-solid punch.
Round six---Cut under Evangelista's right eye re-opens. That was about the only highlight of the round.
Round seven---Tillis takes damage to his right eye, which has REALLY ballooned-up. Should impair the vision. Close round otherwise.
Round eight---Nice round for TIllis, as he threw all different types of punches. He may be trying to get in shots now before the eye closes completely.
Round nine---Speaking of swelling, now the left eye of Evangelista has a shiner under it. This was all TIllis this round. Evangelista won the first part of the fight, but the last few rounds have seen a resurgent Tillis.
Round ten---Well, this is it. Big combination, perfectly placed, floors Evangelista. He's up at the count of 8. Combination sends Alfredo into the ropes. TIllis still stalking. A clinch to finish it off. I guess we go to the scorecards.
Heinrich Muhlmert---97/92 Guillermo Ajon---97/92 Ray Solis---96/94
The winner, by unanimous decision---James "Quick" TIllis!!
Greg Page vs. Renaldo Snipes Sept 19th, 1981 Hara Arena, Dayton OH
Page came into this fight as the new #2. He's had an excellent year with victories over three tough guys - Cobb, Ledoux, and Evangelista. Meanwhile, Snipes just broke into the rankings with an impressive TKO of Ledoux. Snipes has promised that Page will not hold-up under his pressure. Let's find out.
R1: True to his word, Snipes opened up early with a high volume of punches. Page flashed his crisp jab and snapped Snipes head back several times. Near the mid-point of the round a jab tore a gash over Snipes left eye! Page danced and boxed in the latter half... Looked like Page's round to me.
R2: Early in the round, Page hammered him with a clean right and Snipes went all rubbery! Page kept on him with a rangefinder jab and a clean hook to the face! Somehow Snipes kept to his feet! He was in desperate trouble! Page cracked him with a cross on the ropes before Snipes started to throw back. He fought his way off the ropes hooks and seemed to be OK. Page ripped him with another straight punch and then it was all Page in the final minute.
R3: Page's right stunned Snipes again! Hooks and jabs carried the rest of the round for Page, but Snipes split Page's lip with a jab at one point.
R4: The pace slowed and Page boxed just enough to stay ahead of Snipes. Snipes did land his best punch of the fight thus far, but Page was not hurt by it. Snipes bloody left eye continued to be a concern.
R5-8: Snipes continued to adjust to Page's game. He boxed with him and seem to have the edge in these rounds, but they were all close. There was an exciting exchange of hard hooks late in the 5th. By the 7th round, Snipes was clearly out-jabbing Page, which began to open up some other opportunities. I began to wonder what was happening with Page. He appeared to be cruising on his early lead. Or was this just a case of Snipes fighting with desperation?
R9: Not much action in the first minute... Then Page reverted to his earlier form. Jab.. Nice cross! Then he unleashed a great combination further damaging the swollen and bleeding eye of Snipes. The action was stopped and the ringside doctor was called up. And it is OVER!
TKO on cuts 1:29 of Round 9
Two scorecards actually had Snipes winning at the time of the stoppage. I think it was even through 8. Snipes showed a lot of heart to make a fight of this after getting hammered in the first three rounds.
September 20, 1981 Busch Stadium St. Louis, MO For the Heavyweight Championship of the World Larry Holmes (Champion) vs former champion and #1 Contender Jimmy Young
This is the second meeting between these two. It is scheduled for 15 rounds. The referee is Larry Hazzard. Ringside judges are Ismael Fernandez, Kim Koe Yu and Patricia Jansen.
The fight got off to a strange start as the two accidentally butted heads shortly after the opening bell and Holmes suffered a deep cut near his right eye. Young tried to seize the advantage with a left jab but Holmes blocked and scored with two good left hooks! After some juking and moving Holmes found Young with a good combination. After exchanging some blocked and missed punches the two looked for an opening at the bell. I scored it for Holmes and two of the three judges agreed with one for Young.
Holmes threw a left hook that Young blocked. Young scored with a solid left jab. Holmes came back with a straight punch and a good left jab as some minor swelling began under Young's right eye. Holmes left hook was blocked and Young landed a good combination. Young dominated the second half of the round and all three judges and myself scored it solidly in Young's column.
Rounds three through seven saw Holmes stun Young with a straight punch, but the challenger did not go down. They were all close with Holmes landing the harder punches, but Young fighting his typical excellent defensive fight. As it went into round eight I had it nearly even.
Round eight was another close one that I scored for Holmes by a slight edge. Two of the three judges agreed. Round nine saw Holmes stun Young again with a straight punch. Young's jabs impressed one of the judges, but two agreed with me that Holmes won the round.
Once again Holmes scored big with a straight punch that made Young's knees buckle, but the champion was unable to press his advantage as the crafty Young blocked another straight punch. I scored it as a good round for the champion as did all three judges. Round 11 was back and forth, I scored it for Holmes and two of the judges agreed. Round 12 saw Young dominate, but he was also called on a flagrant foul. Only one judge agreed with me that Young won the round.
Holmes scored with a left hook at the bell, but Young came back with a good jab and blocked an attempted combination by Holmes. The two landed solid punches in an even flurry. Holmes broke away and threw a right cross, but Young ducked and found Holmes with a good left hook. Holmes answered with one of his own! I scored the round even while two of the judges scored it in Holmes' column---the other even.
After a close final two rounds I felt Holmes had it won based on the fact that he landed the hardest punches. There were no knockdowns, but Young failed to land any big punches. The judges scoring was: 145-139, 145-143 and 145-140 all for the winner and STILL UBL Heavyweight Champion--Larry Holmes!
UBL Rankings for October, 1981
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Greg Page 2 Jimmy Young 3 Leon Spinks 4 Randall Cobb 5 Earnie Shavers 6 Gerry Cooney 7 Mike Weaver 8 Renaldo Snipes 9 Joe Bugner 10 Scott LeDoux
October 1981 Riverfront Colleseum, Cincinnati OH 12 rounds of HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING! Mike Weaver (vs) Joe Bugner
I wonder if this is a sort-of "semi-final" to find a new opponant for champion Larry Holmes. With two fighters ranked as high and close as this, one has to wonder if the winner of tonite's fight is one fight away from a title shot. Looking at the two fighters, Mike Weaver has a pretty good punch, but has to watch himself if he gets hit hard. He's one of those "if you get him down, he'll stay down" type fighters. His opponant, Joe Bugner, is actually pretty solid in all facets of of the fight game, but isn't outstanding in anything. If he can avoid Weaver's big punch his chances in the long run look pretty good.
Judges ringside tonite are Stanley Berg, Joe Cortez, and Harry Gibbs. Joe O'Neil will officiate.
ROUND ONE---Bugner with a marginal foul right after the bell. Must have REALLY upset Weaver, as Mike threw the perfect straight punch only :23 seconds into the fight, down goes Bugner, and he AIN'T GETTIN' UP!! ONE PUNCH!!! UNBELIEVABLE. The referee's 10 ten count makes the final time just 0:33.
WINNER---Mike Weaver (KO1 / 0:33)
(Note---in all the hundreds of boxing matches on the tabletop and computer over the years, I've NEVER had a first round knockout in less than a minute. And, never had one with basically one punch!)
OCTOBER 25TH 1981 ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI THE CHECKERDOME THE MAIN EVENT: LEON SPINKS VS RANDALL "TEX" COBB 12 ROUNDS
The crowd cheered wildly as St. Louis's own Leon Spinks approached the ring. The imposing figure of Tex Cobb followed a few seconds later. This fight could have a major impact on the heavyweight picture.
The referee is Larry Hazzard. The ringside judges are Oscar Oppen, Eva Shain and Jay Edson.
Round one saw scoring punches by both fighters, but Spinks' shots were more significant and the judges agreed with me that it was a good round for Leon Spinks. Round two was closer, but I scored it as a close round in favor of Spinks. The judges did not agree as one scored it even and the other two put it in Cobb's column.
Round three saw both fighters charge aggressively from the bell and accidentally butt heads! Cobb got the worst of it as he bled profusely above his left eye! Spinks immediately seized the opportunity and scored with a good left jab followed by a left hook that stunned Cobb! To his credit, Cobb stayed on his feet and managed to land some punches but it was a big round for the former champion who closed it with several unanswered shots!
Spinks came out from the bell and found Cobb with a good right cross, but "Tex" answered with a right uppercut that caused some minor swelling of his left eye. Nonetheless he scored with a double jab and another jab. An even flurry ensued that saw both land solid punches! Then Cobb threw a good combination and followed it with a big combination that sent Spinks sprawling to the canvas! Referee Larry Hazzard began the count--ONE.....TWO............Spinks gamely tried to get to his feet but slumped back down. EIGHT....NINE....TEN! The winner, with seconds to go in round four.....Randall Tex Cobb!!!
Teofilo Stevenson vs Randy Stephens, 8 Rds
As chants of U.S.A.! U.S.A.! ring through the Astrodome in Houston, Texas as home state favorite son, Randy Stephens takes on Cuban, Teofilo Stevenson.
Stephens is a three time All-Army champion and an All-Service champion, so this bout has a bit of a Cold War feel as many service members are in attendance.
Stephens won a unanimous decision over journeyman, Jose Roman in his last bout.
Stevenson landed on our shores wit a bang taking down James "Quick" Tillis. He then lost a hard fought majority decision to Gerry Cooney.
The judges for this 8 round bout are Antonio Requena, Stanley Christodoulo and Juple Limahelu. The referee is Dick Young
Round 1-Stevenson comes out with sharp jabs. He seems to be testing the Texan's defenses. Stephens throws a hard right but Stevenson easily dodges it and stuns Stephens with his own straight that opens up a deep cut under Randy's eye. Stevenson presses the attack landing a pair of hooks and easily claiming the round.
Round 2- Stephens' corner seems to have closed the cut, but as the round begins the Cuban appears determined to work the eye landing a jab that reopens the wound. Then Stevenson drops Stephens with a lightning fast combination. Stephens makes it up by 7 but the Cuban is in pursuit. A hook lands and Stephens is down again. The count gets to 9 when Young decides he has seen enough and calls it. Your winner by TKO at 1:35 of the second round, Teofilo Stevenson!
Stevenson takes a small Cuban flag from his corner man and a la George Foreman displays his national pride.
This doesn't sit well with the Houston crowd and Stevenson is hustled out of the ring amidst a shower of Lone Star beer.
Scott LeDoux vs Gerrie Coetzee, 10 Rds Civic Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Oct 1981
Coetzee earned a unanimous decision over countryman Kallie Knoetze in his previous outing and he also TKO'd Jose Roman to reemerge as a challenger. Meanwhile, it has been a hard year for LeDoux who lost a decision to Young, and then was stopped by Snipes in 5 rounds. Coetzee knew he had an uphill battle fighting in Ledoux's backyard.
R1: A cautious first round. Ledoux primarily worked his jab. Coetzee was very patient and wasn't letting anything fly.
R2: Coetzee scored a clean straight punch and seemed to find his range. Ledoux kept jabbing. Coetzee hammered him with a thunderous hook! Ledoux jabbed some more. Twice more Coetzee's hook found the mark and the last one visibly shook Ledoux before the bell!
R3: Ledoux only seemed to trade when forced. Otherwise Coetzee was in control and kept chopping away with hooks.
R4: A bonejarring uppercut caused swelling around Ledoux's left eye. Ledoux seemed to get more determined and drove several hard shots to the body. Coetzee continued to land solid hooks. These guys were throwing some serious leather in this round.
R5: Ledoux had the upper-hand for most of this round, scoring effectively on the inside. But in the final minute, Coetzee came to life and landed two clean hooks to the head. May have stolen the round from the home-town favorite.
R6: They exchanged evenly in a hard flurry. Then Ledoux stalked him and lashed out with crosses. The momentum turned for Coetzee in the latter half of the round. Ledoux stood him up with a nice uppercut, but Coetzee answered with a crackling hook, stunning Ledoux. But Ledoux gathered his wits and scored another solid uppercut to at least break even in this round. Excellent action!
R7: Spurred by the raucous crowd, Ledoux brought the heat! Coetzee ate a bruising jab and answered with his big hook. Ledoux pressed in with a hard cross, which sparked a straight-ahead brawl! They exchanged combinations for over 30 seconds and then Ledoux punctuated the round with another clean cross! The Civic Center was in a frenzy!
R8-9: But Coetzee took the steam out of the crowd as he out-worked Ledoux for the next two rounds. His hook still packed some power and he was clearly landing the harder blows.
Going into the final round, I felt that Coetzee was ahead. I put Ledoux in pressure mode.
R10: Neither man could land a clean shot. Fatigue had taken its toll. They went back and forth with crosses and hooks. Down the stretch they traded combinations twice, but mostly grazing, arm-weary punches.
with Ledoux being the favored fighter, I anticipated some "interesting" scores.
Using the 1-point must system: 6-5 Ledoux, 6-5 Coetzee, and.... 6-4... the winner by split decision... Gerrie Coetzee!
UBL Rankings, November 1981
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Greg Page 2 Jimmy Young 3 Randall Cobb 4 Earnie Shavers 5 Gerry Cooney 6 Mike Weaver 7 Leon Spinks 8 Renaldo Snipes 9 Gerrie Coetzee 10 Scott LeDoux
It's a special All Saints Day card here at the beautiful Spectrum in Philadelphia. Second ranked Jimmy Young entertains sixth ranked Mike Weaver in an important bout. Young wins and he will force UBL leaders to consider him a prime contender. Weaver wins and he can jump into the top five.
Jimmy Young vs. Mike Weaver 12 Rounds
JUDGES Kim Dai-Won HeinRich Muhlmert Harold Lederman
REFEREE Arthur Mercante
Round 1-Young controls with solid defense and a hook that Weaver can't block. Easy round to Young.
Round 2-Young is strangely lethargic and weaver brings the leather as he begins to work on Young's body. Some strong combinations give him an easy win.
Round 3-Young perks up and breaks an even round open with a solid hook to the body which leads to series of strong blows that rocks Weaver. Easy win Young.
Round four-Very strong round. Both fighters bring their lunch pails.Weaver owns the first half of the round, stunning Young with a big cross. Somehow, Young stays upright!
Weaver bears down with a hook that Young blocks. Young responds with three straight combinations to end the round. I gave the round to Young slightly. But the judges were split. Likely the big cross effected the voting.
Round five-seven-Weaver wins two tight/split rounds and also opens up a deep cut under Young's left eye with a thunderous hook. Young sweeps the middle round however.
Round eight-Weaver takes the fight to Young again. A big combination drives Young into the ropes but the wily veteran gets the clinch and holds on for dear life.
I had it solidly for Weaver but two judges went for Young. I couldn't believe it.
Round nine-Weaver comes out the aggressor still but Young dodges, blocks and counters his way to a close split of the round.
Round ten-Weaver opens with an uppercut and Young answers with a stiff cross. Young goes into defensive mode and lands some nice jabs but Weaver wins the split round because of the force of his blows.
Round eleven-Who has the energy? Young does. He dances on the perimeter landing quick jabs in rapid succession. A dazed Weaver finally lands a punch at the end of the round.
Round twelve-Weaver is close, but not close enough to win even with a 10-8. Having to get a TKO or KO against a defensive expert like Young is a tall task and Weaver is not up to it. He wins the round but loses the unanimous decision.
Kim Dai-Won scores the fight 115-114....Jimmy Young. HeinRich Muhlmert scores the fight 116-112....Jimmy Young. Harold Lederman scores the fight 115-113....Jimmy Young.
The winner by unanimous decision is...Jimmy Young!
Earnie Shavers vs Gerry Cooney 12 Rounds, Madison Square Garden November, 1981
Shavers was stopped in the 11th by Young and rebounded by blowing out John Dino Denis in under two rounds. He wants to prove he is still in the title picture. Cooney recently spoiled Teofilo Stevenson's rise to the rankings with two knockdowns and a 10-round decision.
R1: They traded grazing combinations before Shavers backed Cooney up with a sharp cross. He followed-up with another right and then let his left hooks fly. About 30 seconds later a clean hook froze Cooney. Shavers sensed it and strafed him with a wicked combination on the ropes! This stirred the crowd! Cooney slid away and kept his distance while shaking it off. They had a good exchange at the 2:40 mark. Terrific round for Shavers. Cooney did well to keep his feet.
R2: Cooney hammered Shavers with a hook to start the round! Wow! Shavers was staggered badly! Cooney gave chase and beat him down with a flurry of shots! Shavers is too shaken and only makes it to his knees at the count of 10!!
Another huge moment for Gerry Cooney! An obviously dejected Shavers said he needs to take some time off and evaluate his next career move.
NOVEMBER 13, 1981 KIEL AUDITORIUM SAINT LOUIS, MO BIG JOHN TATE VS RON LYLE 10 ROUNDS OF HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING!
The talk around the boxing world is that Ron Lyle is past his prime and not to be taken seriously as a contender to the UBL Heavyweight Championship. But he is out to prove them wrong in St. Louis tonight. Have his skills indeed faded? We shall see! Legendary referee Ruby Goldstein is the official for this main event. Ringside judges are Dick Young, Chuck Hassett and Jorge Velasco.
The fans were still buzzing about the sensational Junior Welterweight battle that preceded this event!
Tate threw a left hook, but Lyle blocked and scored a good left uppercut to the body of Big John. But Tate came back with a solid right uppercut of his own and followed it with a good left hook! Then Lyle scored with a solid left uppercut and followed through with a big combination and Tate went down! Referee Ruby Goldstein began the count--EIGHT....NINE...TEN! The winner by knockout in 2:22--Ron Lyle!
What a strong statement by Lyle!!
UBL December Rankings
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Greg Page 2 Jimmy Young 3 Randall Cobb 4 Gerry Cooney 5 Mike Weaver 6 Renaldo Snipes 7 Leon Spinks 8 Earnie Shavers 9 Gerrie Coetzee 10 Scott LeDoux
Joe Bugner and James "Quick" Tillis are both fighting to keep their careers above water. Bugner's career is fading while Tillis is looking to start some positive momentum in his career. The venue is Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom. The judges are Luis Sulbaran, Rodolpho Hill and Chung Dae-Eung. The referee is Paul Cavalier.
This fight is supposed to feature two fighters boxing with a sense of urgency. Instead the two men seemed to have missed their wake-up call in the morning.
Jet lag? Bugner wins the unanimous decision with minimal effort as Tillis is unable to get anything going.
I would not consider moving either of these two fighters into the UBL top ten.
SNIPES-STEVENSON It's ten rounds of Heavyweight action tonite at The Nassau County Colleseum on Long Island as the #8 ranked Renaldo "Mr." Snipes faces a tough challenger in Teofilo Stevenson. Snipes has shown to be an ever-ready opponant for whoever he faces. He's good, but hasn't shown the overall brilliance needed to be championship material. Stevenson, on the other hand, has had a roller-coaster ride since leaving his native Cuba to test the World Heavyweight waters. He looks dominating in one fight, then regresses in the next. The winner will be in the top ten. The loser? Well, it'll be a tough row to hoe for them to make it back into the elite.
Judges for this contest include Ray Solis, Vince Delgado, and Kaz Asao. Carlos Berrocal will control the action. Islanders great Mike Bossy rings the bell to start the fight
ROUND 1---After trading punches, Stevenson finds the range to cause a small cut above Snipes's left eye. Traded hooks close the round.
ROUND 2---Snipes the more aggressive at the start with a straight punch, hook, then another straight punch. Traded uppercuts floow, then Stevenson is on the prowl from about 2 minutes on.
ROUND 3---3 jabs by Stevenson to start the round. Later, uppercuts do some damage to Snipes, but nothing long lasting.
ROUND 4---Traded punches in the round, with neither able to establish dominance.
ROUND 5---Marginal foul by Stevenson early on, but he cooled off and landed a couple nice hooks after the warning by the referee. Huge cross by Stevenson with about 20 seconds left, but he was unable to capitalize on it before the bell rang.
ROUND 6---Not much action. By my estimation, Stevenson seemed a bit more aggressive, so I'd probably give the round to the Cuban.
ROUND 7---Big straight punch by Snipes at the end of the round, but was it enough to win him the round?
ROUND 8---This late in, but both fighters still seem pretty fresh. Fairly even round, with Stevenson turning it on a bit by round's end.
ROUND 9---Big hook to the body about a buck and a half in in puts Snipes on the canvas, where he stays for 9 seconds. Now, Stevenson needs to go in the for the kill. Two wild punches---nothing. Then, he just can't find an opening. Snipes survives the round. Does he have enough for the 10th frame?
ROUND 10---Nice series of punches by Stevenson thruout the round, but not enough to stop it early. Let's go to the cards...
Ray Solis scores the fight 99-93....Teofilo Stevenson.
Vince Delgado scores the fight 97-93....Teofilo Stevenson.
Kazunobu Asao scores the fight 99-93....Teofilo Stevenson.
The winner by unanimous decision is...Teofilo Stevenson!
That's it from Long Island! Good Night, and Good Fight!
UBL World Heavyweight Championship LARRY HOLMES vs GREG PAGE 15 Rounds December 1981, Kemper Arena, Kansas City
This is Holmes' 2nd straight defense against a #1 contender. Page has risen to this plateau with three victories over ranked opponents this year (Cobb, Weaver, and Snipes). It is very appropriate to close out 1981 by giving him a title shot. Both fighters seemed to emerge from their training camps, focused and fit. Some have argued that Page has the variety of tools to win the title, but others feel that Holmes learned valuable lessons from facing Young twice and will be ready for anything Page can bring.
R1: Holmes was relaxed and let his hands go at a measured pace. Page just watched for the first half of the round. At the 1:40 mark, Page lit the champion up with a clean cross! Whoa... Followed by a quick, solid hook! Holmes clinched and shook his head at the crowd indicating that he was fine.
R2: Page jabbed and jabbed some more. Holmes slowly turned up the pressure as the round progressed, targeting Page's head with sizzling straight rights. A few of them scored to make it a close round.
R3: Page successfully got inside and worked strong combinations and a nice hook upstairs. Holmes didn't seem to have an answer. Great round for Page.
R4: The champion came out and picked Page apart as he tried to get back inside. Late in the round, Holmes dominated with several nice combinations! Page seemed OK, but he was getting swamped! Just before the bell, Page traded in a vicious flurry! Big round for Holmes.
Rds 5-9: The action settled into a chess match and Holmes held the advantage through these rounds. The 7th and 8th were strong rounds in his favor, but the rest were close. The most telling moment was in the middle of the 8th round when Holmes snapped Page's head back with three crisp rights! Page was stunned momentarily, but came back in an exchange of hooks in the closing seconds. Page had some accumulating swelling around his right eye.
Rds 10-11: These were similar to the 3rd-4th rounds. Page was effective on the inside to take the 10th, but then Holmes kicked it up a notch in the following round. This time, Holmes decided to match him on the inside - a rare thing from the champion - and we got a good round of gritty action. Holmes seemed the more effective of the two.
R12: Holmes was clearly in charge here with jabs and uppercuts. The jab drew some blood from Page's swelling eye.
R13: Holmes seemed to be ready to stop the challenger. He probed with hard jabs and tried to land a big hook. Page answered with a couple of solid combinations that gave Holmes pause. Nice action in this round. Too close to call.
R14: After bringing the heat, the champion backed-off in this round. He only engaged when Page forced him too. Page stalked with combinations and hooks. One hook landed solid and this round had to go to Page.
R15: Page seemed to be completely spent, while Holmes showed he still had something left. No big punches landed, but Holmes consistently chipped away to easily seal the last round.
Going to the scorecards, I felt that Page gave a nice performance, but I didn't feel like it was enough to take the title. Using the 1-point must system, the decision was unanimous: 9-8, 12-6, 12-5 for Easton Assassin, Larry Holmes!
Having turned away two #1 contenders, it looks like the UBL has a real legit champion now.
ST. LOUIS MO DECEMBER 13, 1981 THE CHECKERDOME LEON SPINKS VS SCOTT LEDOUX 12 ROUNDS
Both of these fighters are considered past their prime, but they remain top ten contenders in the UBL. Spinks, a former UBL Champion, is ranked currently at #7 while LeDoux is hanging by a thread in the 10th spot. it is their second meeting.
The referee is Larry Hazzard. The ringside judges are Harold Lederman, Jay Edson and Angelo Poletti.
The hometown crowd cheered as Spinks opened the action with a good combination, but LeDoux answered with a left hook! They exchanged punches that were largely missed, then Spinks scored with a left jab. They clinched and when Larry Hazzard seperated them Spinks scored with a straight punch. He tried to follow up with an uppercut, but LeDoux dodged it as the bell sounded. I scored it as a good round for Spinks and all three judges agreed.
This time LeDoux started the action, scoring with a good right uppercut and following up with a right cross! Spinks answered with a left hook, but LeDoux again found him with a right uppercut. Then Spinks threw a big left hook that stunned LeDoux! Spinks stalked him as he tried to find an opening to follow up with, but Ledoux kept him from landing a good shot! I scored it as a close round for Spinks because even though he landed the best punch Ledoux's punches in the early round, and his ability to avoid Spinks after the blow, kept it close. All three judges also scored it for Spinks.
Ledoux opened with a good right cross that opened a deep cut under Spinks' left eye! That seemed to fire Leon up as he landed several scoring punches. Ledoux did manage a couple of his own, though. I scored it as a close round again for Spinks and two of the three judges were in agreement.
Rounds 4 and 5 were also very close. I scored both for Spinks, but the judges were split three ways on round 4 as one scored for each of them and one scored it an even round. Round six was far and away Ledoux's best round as a solid right uppercut early in the round was the only one Spinks was able to land!
Round 7 was another close one with less action as there was a lot of juking and moving and an exchange of missed punches. I scored it for Spinks and two of the judges agreed.
Spinks caught fire again in round 8, completely dominating Ledoux and throwing a good right uppercut that caused major swelling under Scott's right eye! A big round for Spinks!
Round 9 was dominated early by Spinks, but in the final few seconds Ledoux stunned him with his best punch of the fight, a big left uppercut! Leon stayed on his feet and I scored it as a close one for him but the judges saw it differently.
I scored round 10 as a close one for Ledoux, but two of the judges put it in Spinks' column while the third scored it even!
Spinks landed a good left hook to start the action. After some juking amd moving ledoux found him with a solid left uppercut, but Spinks answered with a right uppercut of his own that caused blood to pour out of the mouth of Ledoux. Spinks was scoring at will now and referee Larry Hazzard stopped the fight at 1:07 and declared Leon Spinks the winner by TKO in round 11!
UBL RANKINGS: Jan 1982
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Greg Page 3 Randall Cobb 4 Gerry Cooney 5 Mike Weaver 6 Teofilo Stevenson 7 Leon Spinks 8 Gerrie Coetzee 9 Renaldo Snipes 10 Earnie Shavers
DOKES-MERCADO January 9, 1982.
Michael Dokes is an up-and-comer and he is fighting a veteran in Bernardo Mercado in an eight-rounder at Harrah's in Atlantic City. Dokes is lingering outside the UBL top ten, while Mercado is hoping to impress enough to earn a big pay day against a UBL contender.
Your judges are Carol Castellano, Fritz Werner and John Cauchi. The referee is Tommy Kaczmarek.
Round one- Dokes is pecking away from the outside with jabs and the occassional hook. Mercado is working to move inside and lands a pair of uppercuts. Nice feeling out round. I had it narrowly to Dokes, the judges had it 1-1-1.
Round two-Dokes moves confidently this round. He must feel he has Mercado figured out. Dokes moves inside for an uppercut, dances back and lands a straight to the jaw and then blocks a Mercado hook and counters with a one-two that rattles Mercado. Mercado rallies behinds a pair of hooks but Dokes closes the round with a hook that buckles Mercado's knees.
Easy round to Dokes.
Round three-Dokes comes at Mercado confidently but the veteran has an answer for every punch. Judges and I both have it even.
Round four-Mercado seems more alive now. Blocking Dokes' straight punches landing hooks and a crisp cross at the bell. I had it narrowly for Mercado. The judges score it even again.
Round five-Mercado moves back inside with intensity and Dokes can't move him out. Mercado fires jolting uppercuts and scores with combinations and hooks before Dokes rallies at the end of the round. Dokes makes it close but Mercado wins the round.
Round six-The sixth becomes chippy when upon breaking a clinch Dokes gets hit for a flagrant foul. Dokes jumps in and lands a solid hook. An accidental head butt causes minor swelling under Mercado's right eye. Mercado comes back with a solid uppercut to the jaw which Dokes answers with a big combination. Mercado loses his cool and hits a low blow which draws a flagrant foul. But this enrages Dokes and he lands a stiff right to the right eye, opening up a deep cut and ending the bout as Tommy Kaczmarek calls it.
The winner by TKO on cuts, in a time of 2:24 of round 6...Michael Dokes!
Gerrie Coetzee vs Ron Lyle Rand Stadium, Johannesburg Jan 30th, 1982 10 Rounds
Coetzee lured the aging veteran Ron Lyle to his home turf to challenge for the #8 spot in the world rankings. Coetzee grinded-out a split decision against LeDoux a couple months ago, and in November, Lyle destroyed John Tate in the 1st round.
R1: The opening minute was quiet, then Coetzee cut loose with a couple combinations. Lyle answered, but not enough to match him. Coetzee drilled him with a thunderous body shot before the bell.
R2: Lyle decided to stay close and grind it out with the younger man. Coetzee with a big uppercut... Lyle replied with a sharp hook to the body... A pair of crosses from Coetzee raised some swelling around Lyle's left eye. Lyle landed a solid uppercut. Good stuff!! They traded evenly at a brisk pace down the stretch.
R3-4: Coetzee didn't throw as many punches in these rounds, but when he did, they were solid. Lyle attempted some combos but couldn't land clean. Slight edge to Coetzee...
R5: Lyle really tried to bear down in this round, but Coetzee picked him apart! A clean uppercut early and a great combination at mid-round were the highlights for the South African. Lyle was getting beat to the punch.
R6: Lyle kept pressing and got through with an uppercut. He followed-up with another one that blasted Coetzee's head back! WOW! He went down!!! Coetzee shook it off and regained his feet. Lyle came after him with guns blazin'! Coetzee was shaken by a combination! The action was stopped for a foul warning on Coetzee... The crowd booed, whistled, and buzzed. The warning may have done Coetzee a favor. He was in command for the final minute of the round. Awesome.
R7: Cautious action in the first minute. Fatigue seemed to be factoring in. Both men landed solid hooks. This round could go either way.
R8: Lyle came out agressively with a clean straight punch and uppercut! But Coetzee rallied as the crowd chanted. Lyle absorbed combinations and hooks and generally got pummelled for two minutes.
R9: A high hook stunned Lyle early! Coetzee's jab then added to the swelling left eye. Lyle wasn't done yet. He surged with two great hooks to keep Coetzee's respect.
R10: Coetzee with a jab... Lyle's mouth began to bleed. A pair of crosses from Coetzee... Nothing from Lyle... A hard hook connected and backed Lyle into the ropes. Coetzee loaded up for a big shot. He scored a hard right and the ref jumped in to call it! It's over!
TKO 1:38 of Round 10
UBL RANKINGS, FEB 1982
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Greg Page 3 Gerry Cooney 4 Randall Cobb 5 Mike Weaver 6 Teofilo Stevenson 7 Leon Spinks 8 Gerrie Coetzee 9 Renaldo Snipes 10 Earnie Shavers
WEAVER vs SPINKS
Welcome to the Dunes in Las Vegas, Nevada for today's UBL feature bout between fifth ranked Mike Weaver and seventh ranked Leon Spinks.
Our fight was delayed forty minutes when an unidentified man sailed into the ring on a hang glider during Wayne Newton's performance of the National Anthem.
The judges for today's twelve round bout are Dave Moretti, Omar Mintun and Eva Shain.
The referee is Joe Walcott.
Round one-Spinks on the attack. The former champ pushes the fight landing several good crosses and a solid combination to the body. Judges and I agree. Spinks.
Round two-Weaver looks to take control by opening with a pair of combinations. Weaver dominates the round and a quick hook starts some swelling below Spinks left eye. Judges and I agree again. Weaver.
Round three-Weaver picks up where he left off landing a hard right that opens a cut above Spinks left eye. Weaver seems to be taking control when Spinks rattles his cage with a hard right. The fighters trade blows. I had it even, but two judges said Spinks.
Round four-A strong round for Weaver. His hook causes Spinks trouble and one hook opens a new cut above Spinks right eye. Judges and I disagree-I went solidly for Weaver, but two judges say Spinks.
Round five-Weaver firmly in control. Twice he staggers Spinks, driving him into the ropes. Spinks manages to bloody Hercules' nose with an uppercut.
Total agreement that Weaver wins.
Round six-Weaver goes inside and brings some solid uppercuts with him. Jarring blows shake Spinks. Spinks draws some more blood from Weaver's nose midway through the round but Weaver shakes it off and thunders a tremendous left hook with opens a deep cut by Spinks' right eye. And Walcott calls it.
The winner by TKO on cuts, in a time of 2:42 of round 6...Mike Weaver!
Teofilo Stevenson vs Gordon Racette Sands Casino, Atlantic City 10 Rounds
After taking down Renaldo Snipes in his last appearance, Stevenson was required to take on a challenger. Racette enters the UBL world with a record of 29-1 and his only loss was too former World Champ Jimmy Young. The Canadian is in contention for Berbick's Commonwealth Title.
R1: Stevenson immediately tested Racette with a long right. Racette was provoked and answered with several shots high and low, but nothing solid. After absorbing a body shot, Stevenson cracked him with wicked cross! Racette was forced to back up and Stevenson pressured him with combinations. Racette was able to exchange with him again before the bell.
R2: A hard hook by Stevenson to open this round. Again Racette seemed provoked and he came after the Cuban with combinations, the first of which caught the Olympic-great by surprise. Stevenson scored a big hook, but missed with his follow-up. Down the stretch, Stevenson's straight right landed flush again, but Racette replied with a sharp straight punch of his own that had Stevenson stunned at the bell!
R3: A much different round... Stevenson moved and jabbed, moved and jabbed. When Racette got too close Stevenson clinched, so the Canadian was limited to one good combination in this round.
R4: Stevenson was not as mobile here and just chipped away from the outside. Racette forced the action with a great combination and stung Stevenson with a big jab. Stevenson tried to catch him comin' in with the uppercut, scoring twice, but not hard shots. Racette kept at it and landed more solid leather. A strong round for the challenger.
R5: About 30 seconds in, Stevenson rocked him with a clean right! Racette was very shakey, but managed to partially block some shots and even land a punch. Stevenson again pounded him with a clean cross! Racette backed away and covered up, before he came out of his shell with a wild swing and miss. Then Stevenson smashed him to the canvas with another right! Racette regained his feet, but the referee waved it off! TKO 2:47
Nice performance from the Olympian. Racette gave a spirited effort, but in the 5th round, it seemed like Stevenson just decided it was time to get serious.
UBL Heavyweight Rankings, March 1982
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Greg Page 3 Gerry Cooney 4 Randall Cobb 5 Mike Weaver 6 Teofilo Stevenson 7 Gerrie Coetzee 8 Leon Spinks 9 Renaldo Snipes 10 Earnie Shavers
Spinks continues to slowly slide down the rankings with a TKO loss to Weaver. Coetzee benefitted, taking over the #7 slot. The stage is set for our first big month of the year. Six of the top ten will be in action.
Renaldo Snipes vs George Chaplin March 13, 1982 Resorts International, Atlantic City NJ
On the undercard of the Page-Coetzee bout, we had #9 ranked Snipes who is trying to rebound from a decision loss to Stevenson. His opponent enters the UBL world with a record of 16-3-2 and two of those losses came from current UBL contenders.
R1: Chaplin opened the fight with a gutsy combination. Snipes started working his jab. Chaplin stayed busy in the early going, but Snipes really jolted him with a clean jab. Visible swelling near Chaplin's right eye... A clean straight punch nearly decapitated Chaplin and he hit the canvas hard!! He barely beat the count and ref allowed the action to continue. Not known as a great finisher, Snipes did just fine here; two huge combinations swamped Chaplin and he folded in the corner! He got up a bit quicker this time. But it is easy pickin's for Snipes and he battered Chaplin down one more time! Chaplin again regained his feet, but the ref waved it off! A first round TKO for Snipes! 2:28
Greg Page vs Gerrie Coetzee March 13, 1982 Resorts International, Atlantic City NJ 12 Rounds
Reports from both camps indicated some minor problems, so there was varying speculation about to expect in this fight. However, as of this night, they were both ready to go. To earn this challenge, Coetzee recently stopped Ron Lyle in the 10th round. Page's last appearance was a unanimous decision loss for the World Title.
R1: Page displayed the faster hands to build an early lead. Coetzee landed a strong hook at the one minute mark, but that was about it for him. Page got Coetzee's attention before the bell with clean right! Coetzee shook his head like it didn't bother him, but his body language betrayed him.
R2: Page backed-off a bit in this round while Coetzee picked up the pace. Page was thumped by several hard hooks over the course of this round. Clear round for Coetzee.
R3-5: For the next three rounds, the fight settled into a tactical pattern. Page darted in and out with grazing combinations. Coetzee plodded-in with hooks, but landed the harder shots. All three rounds were close, though it appeared that Coetzee had the edge in two of them.
R6: Moderate-paced action continued for the first two minutes. After an even trade, Coetzee caught Page by surprise with a thunderous hook! Page backed away on wobbly legs as Coetzee pounded away with a combination! A hard uppercut split the guard at the bell. Whoa... Page was in serious jeopardy!
R7: Coetzee missed with a wild hook and Page countered nicely. Page suddenly sprung on him with a perfect combination, hammering Coetzee and forcing him to take a knee! Wow!! Coetzee popped up and traded combinations with reckless abandon! Page let up a bit and began to pick his spots carefully. Both men had tasted the other's power now. Page's right hand found the mark regularly. Coetzee missed with another wild swing. Page found his opening and exploded a straight punch in Coetzee's face! Down he went... Not moving... The ref didn't bother counting. Its over! A devastating KO for Page. 2:40 of Round 7
MARCH 14, 1982 ST. LOUIS MISSOURI THE CHECKERDOME JIMMY YOUNG VS GERRY COONEY 12 ROUNDS
The capacity crowd at The Checkerdome was abuzz with excitement as the two fighters approached the ring for the most important non-title fight of the year. Young desperate to prove he is still worthy of a shot to regain the UBL Heavyweight Championship. Cooney, eager to get a shot himself!
The referee is Tommy Little.
ROUNDS ONE AND TWO
Cooney opened the action with a good left hook, but Young answered right back with a right cross and it was back and forth throughout the opening round! Young ended it with a straight punch. I scored it as a close round for Young and two of the judges agreed.
In round two, Young maintained control as he opened with a good right cross, but Cooney ended the round with a straight punch that opened up a minor cut under Young's left eye. This time I scored it a close one for Cooney and again two of the judges concurred.
ROUNDS THREE, FOUR AND FIVE
Round three was another close one, but I gave the slight edge to Young and the judges agreed. But in the second minute of round four, Cooney found Young with a big left hook that sent Young down! 7...8...9 and he was back on his feet. Cooney pressed his advantage--driving Young into the ropes with a combination as the bell sounded! Big round for Cooney on all cards!
Young recovered and opened round five with a left jab. Once again it was a see saw round. I scored it even while two of the judges scored it for Young. Cooney landed some good punches, but Young seemed none the worse for wear after his knockdown in the fourth!
ROUNDS SIX AND SEVEN
Round six was another close one that I scored even, while the judges were split three ways as one saw it even also. Round seven opened with both men cautiously looking for an opening. Young dominated the first half of the round and Cooney the second half. I scored it as a close one for Jimmy Young but two of the judges had it in Cooney's column while the other scored it even.
ROUNDS EIGHT AND NINE
Round eight was a good one for Young as he scored repeatedly and slipped Cooney's best punches. But Cooney came right back in round nine, opening with a good straight punch. Once again they exchanged several punches. I scored it as a close round for Cooney while the judges once again split three ways!
Cooney opened with a left hook that was blocked by Young and countered with a solid left uppercut! Then after an even exchange Cooney took over with a good left hook, a combination that Young countered with a solid left jab, opening a minor cut above Cooney's left eye. After exhcnaging blocked and missed punches Cooney threw a left hook that Young ducked. Young threw another jab that opened a minor cut under Cooney's right eye! They clinched and Young threw a good straight punch. Cooney closed the roung with a solid left hook! I scored it as a close round for Young but the judges had it 2-1 for Cooney!
ROUND ELEVEN AND TWELVE
Round eleven was another exchange of punches between both fighters. I cored it even while two judges gave it to Young and one scored it even. As the 12th and final bell rang it could go either way. Both fighters were cautious, juking and moving and looking for an opening. Finally Cooney landed a solid straight punch followed by a good body head combination! But he missed with a right cross and after exchanging blocked punches Young landed a solid left jab. Cooney answered with a straight punch and Young came right back with a jab! I scored it for Cooney while the judges voted two for Young and one even!
The final decision---116-112 Young, 116-113 Young, 116-112 Cooney!
The winner by split decision---Jimmy Young!
WHAT A FIGHT!
Mike Weaver vs Trevor Berbick Horizon Arena, Rosemont, Illinois April, 1982
Weaver stopped Spinks in February to re-enter the Top 5. This was Berbick's chance to break in to the world rankings, after getting a decision against Joe Bugner last time out.
R1: Weaver seized the aggressor role, but Berbick showed some savvy defense in the first half of the round and Weaver couldn't land anything solid. But at the 2-minute mark, Berbick tried to lean away from a straight and got caught flush! He was stunned but kept his feet. An easy round for Weaver.
R2: Berbick drilled Weaver with a perfect hook in the opening seconds and put him down hard! Wow! Where did THAT come from? Weaver rose on rubbery legs and Berbick let loose a barrage of punches to quickly knock him down in the corner! Its over! A huge statement for Trevor Berbick!
KO 0:36 of Round 2
What a disaster for Weaver! Every time he gets back in the title picture, he has a huge disappointment like this.
UBL RANKINGS, May 82
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Jimmy Young 2 Greg Page 3 Gerry Cooney 4 Randall Cobb 5 Teofilo Stevenson 6 Renaldo Snipes 7 Earnie Shavers 8 Gerrie Coetzee 9 Mike Weaver 10 Leon Spinks
Randall Cobb vs Renaldo Snipes 12 Rounds Reunion Arena, Dallas TX May 1982
Cobb was having a hard time finding a dance partner until Snipes started climbing the rankings as a result of his one round destruction of George Chaplin. Snipes also benefitted from Coetzee and Weaver both losing. So here is Snipes poised to get in the title picture.
R1-2: A fairly pedestrian start to this one, as Snipes tried to stay away. Cobb stalked and occassionally landed in the first. In the 2nd stanza, Cobb was more effective on the inside to gain the early edge in scoring.
R3: About one minute into this round, Cobb surprised the tactically-minded Snipes with a clean counter-hook that dropped him! Snipes regained his feet, but Cobb kept the pressure on for the remainder of the round and won it big!
From that point on, Cobb seemed to have the fight under control. Snipes was competitive and certainly won rounds 6, 8, and 11, but Cobb was never really threatened. Meanwhile Cobb stunned Snipes in the 7th and 12th rounds, but didn't knock him down again. Snipes was in danger of being TKO'd in the 10th, but he responded with a good round to stay in the fight.
The scorecards were unanimous: 11-2, 9-5, 9-5 all for Cobb. This might be Cobb's finest UBL performance in a decision fight. Good stuff.
Holmes-Young III, 15 Rounds UBL World Heavyweight Championship The Spectrum, Philadelphia
Two years ago, Young challenged for Holmes' world title and pulled the upset. Last year, Holmes regained the title from Spinks and was eager to defend it against Young. He did so, successfully. In the third year of the UBL, Young has endured as the #1 contender and so we have our first trilogy. Can an aging Jimmy Young outfox the prime champion again?
R1: In front of a partisan crowd, Holmes came out throwing serious leather. Sharp, accurate punching... Young was twice stunned by straight rights and he absorbed some major punishment in the first two minutes, before he started ducking and rolling. A standing ovation for Holmes as the bell sounded!
R2: In the second round, Holmes showed that he wasn't just superior offensively, he was also out-classing the challenger defensively. A low-scoring, but nonetheless impressive round for the champ as Young was unable to connect with anything significant.
R3: Holmes staggered Young with a punishing cross early! Rough night for Young... But at the urging of his corner, Young picked up the pace and landed a couple good combos.
R4-6: The action got a bit closer. Young was inventing ways to mitigate the champion's offense. But Holmes continued to build a lead, landing the harder shots. Young managed to split Holme's lip with a jab.
R 7-8: Holmes seemed to be coasting a bit in these rounds and Young took advantage. He worked his jab and combinations effectively to win these rounds. Young developed a nick under the right eye courtesy of Holmes' jab.
R9: A typical chess-match for most of the round, but in the final seconds Holmes sealed the round with a wicked combination that wobbled Young! This looked like the end. Holmes closed in with a jab and a pulverizing cross, but Young held up! The bell may have saved him... The crowd erupted!
R10-12: Young boxed carefully for the next three frames and scored with a couple nice counter-shots. Holmes was active enough to keep the edge in my opinion, but it was close.
R13: Perhaps sensing that the fight was slipping away, Young kicked it up a notch and traded with the champ early. Fatigue was evident and more clinching resulted. Young bloodied Holmes' nose with clean jab. Holmes answered with a hard right. Young stole the round late with a hook and a cross.
R14: In the first half of the round there was lots of clinching and movement. Young apparently tried to frustrate the champ. Holmes turned it on in the final minute and landed several solid blows. This was his final statement.
R15: The fight fizzled a bit with a couple of warnings in the first minute. Young scored a beautiful overhand counter, but that was about it. Holmes coasted to the decision.
And it was unanimous (one-pt must system): 11-6, 10-7, and 10-6
It was obvious that Young has slipped a notch or two, but he remains a difficult opponent for anybody. At this point, Holmes is a deserving champion who is beginning to build a legacy. I had the feeling that Holmes could've ended this fight on about three different occasions, but was content to go the distance
Teofilo Stevenson vs Earnie Shavers June 82, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit 12 Rds
Shavers had a nice victory over unranked challenger Michael Dokes in has last match. Stevenson seemed to toy with George Racette before stopping him in February. Indications are that this is Shavers' last run at a title challenge.
R1: As expected, Shavers came out with pressure and heavy leather. He connected with a pair of uppercuts. Then he went around Stevenson's guard and hammered home a haymaker! Stevenson appeared stunned and covered-up as Shavers let loose with a combination. Stevenson fired back, off the mark. Shavers with a straight right. In the final 30 seconds, Stevenson began to turn the table with a cross and combination. Whoo!
R2: A cross and a hard hook landed for Shavers. Stevenson replied with a nice combination and then began to tatoo Shavers with long rights. Now Stevenson was wading in and Shavers waited for him flat-footed. A straight punch by Shavers... Then suddenly... Stevenson jacked him up with a ferocious uppercut! Shavers crumbled to the canvas! He's not getting up. The ref abandoned the count at 7. Its over!
KO, 2:51 of Rd 2
Whoa... Didn't see that coming. Neither did Shavers! Stevenson said he's ready for Holmes, but the UBL will require him to go through one of the top 3 fighters to earn that right. This pretty much spells the end of Shavers in the UBL. In reality, he fought twice in 83, before hanging 'em up for 5 years.
Gerry Cooney vs Trevor Berbick 12 Rds, Convention Hall, Atlantic City July, 1982
Berbick earned this fight via a 2-round KO of Mike Weaver. Meanwhile, Cooney is trying to bounce-back from a controversial split-decision loss to Jimmy Young. A win here could make him the next challenger for Holmes. The Convention Hall was packed with an electric crowd of mostly pro-Cooney supporters.
R1: Cooney tried to bore his way in, but Berbick caught him with a clean uppercut early. Nonetheless, Cooney managed to get Berbick's midsection. Just past the 2-minute mark, Berbick jolted Cooney with a heavy hook! A stunned Cooney returned fire and they both scored combinations before the deafening crowd!
R2: Cooney tried to keep more distance, but stayed much busier than Berbick. Near mid-round, Berbick emerged from a an exchange with a deep cut over the left eye! The ref indicated it was from a punch! The blood seemed to spark Berbick who fought with more urgency in the final minuted. The cut looks bad though...
R3: Still fighting outside, Cooney seemed to be pot-shotting the cut as Berbick pressed in. They both landed bombs about a minute into this round! Berbick absorbed another hook and then tore after Cooney with a hellatious barrage of combinations! Wow... this has been quite a brawl so far...
R4: Berbick had answers for everything Cooney did in this round. It started with a sweet counter-cross, then an exchange of uppercuts. In the final minute Cooney pushed him with punch volume and Berbick kept replying with a little more. Looked like a battle of wills and Berbick seemed to be building an edge in scoring, although it has been extremely rough and competitive.
R5: Berbick scored a hard left and Cooney came right back with a matching hook. Cooney followed with a solid cross later, but the action bogged in last minute of the round.
R6: Neither man seemed as effective offensively, no clean shots were landed. Berbick showed some nice defense slipping and rolling away from Cooney's long punches.
R7: Cooney kicked it up a notch. Hooks and a combinations early. Berbick connected with a nice counter-punch and again straightened Cooney with an uppercut. Cooney took it well and started throwing huge hooks! Repeatedly!! Two big hooks scored and backed Berbick up! The third hook chopped Berbick down!! He got up, but seconds later Cooney drove him into the corner and threw a flurry that forced the stoppage!! TKO for Cooney!
TKO, 2:41 of Round 7
Man... I enjoyed the heck out of this fight! It was really interesting. Both fighters used every mode available to them and it was strong action all the way, with the exception of Round 6.
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Greg Page 2 Gerry Cooney 3 Randall Cobb 4 Jimmy Young 5 Teofilo Stevenson 6 Trevor Berbick 7 Renaldo Snipes 8 Gerrie Coetzee 9 Mike Weaver 10 vacant
Randall "Tex" Cobb versus Teofilo Stevenson The Summit (Houston, Texas)---attendance 15,026. August, 1982
Welcome to the The Summit Fight Fans! Twelve scheduled rounds of boxing is on the card tonight in the Heavyweight division. The Grit and Determination of the native Texan Cobb will be on the line against the multi Gold Medalist Stevenson tonight in the Main Event of the evening. Randall "Tex" Cobb has risen to the rank of #3 in the UBL and is looking to solidify his chances of a potential Title fight. Stevenson looks to stamp himself the superior boxer and show that even in his home state "Tex" Cobb will be outclassed by the Cuban National hero.
Round 1--Cobb rushes from the corner like a bull and slams Stevenson with a powerful hook, but Stevenson steps back only momentarily shaken and deftly lands his own albeit less powerful hook. Cobb angered with the answering blow, lowers his head and slams forward into the chest of Cobb. The ref steps in in alerts Cobb of the malicious foul, separating the fighters. Stevenson rattles off a biting combination and solid hook to the body. Stevenson reaches from the floor and catches Cobb with a powerful uppercut nearly decapitating the thick necked Texan, yet Cobb barely flinches and fights on, always moving forward. A cross catches Cobb as he backs up for the first time in the fight only to slip in his only uppercut to an advancing Stevenson at the bell.
Round 2--Stevenson opens the round with another uppercut as he once again finds Cobbs defense like Swiss Cheese. Cobb lands a hook. Stevenson lands another uppercut through Cobb's separted hands. A powerful cross lands over Cobb's defenses amazingly sends Cobb to the canvas, chopped down to size, as gasps from the Houston crowd can be heard throughout the crowd. Cobb bounces back up at the count of 2, with a silly grin on his face and beckons Stevenson for more. Pressuring jabs opens up Cobb to another clean shot and another slicing uppercut. Cobb seems to absorb the punishing blows as if he is just getting started and lands a hook at the bell.
Round 3--Stevenson jabs repeatedly to the slower Cobb as the round opens. Stevenson tatoos Cobb as if his face was a training speed bag. A straight punch right down the pike follows. Cobb draws Stevenson in and delivers a powerful uppercut, catching the advancing Cuban. Stevenson answers with his own uppercut. Another uppercut...landing to two to one shots repeatedly. Another cross by Stevenson. Another uppercut. A straight punch to send Cobb back to his corner.
Round 4--Stevenson, dances and fires a straight right. Cobb is in no mood for dancing and answers with a thunderous uppercut. Cobb finds his stride with another uppercut and for the first time Stevenson looks vulnerable. The lapse is only momentarily as Stevenson floats away, sending a lashing jab at Cobb. Finding the range of his jab once again Stevenson out quicks Cobb to the punch. Mixing in a hook. Cobb proves he can punch too with a powerful cross. Stevenson lands an uppercut and subsequent jab at the bell. (press row scoring scored that the first even round of the fight).
Round 5--The round opens with a dodging Stevenson leading Cobb around the ring and snapping a off a combination of scoring punches. Cobb lands a rare jab and follows up with a straight right. Cobb loads up and misses badly over overhand left. Stevenson catches the off balance Cobb with a hook and uppercut, as minor swelling emerges around Cobb's beefy left eye brow.
Round 6--Stevenson catches Cobb with an uppercut to open the round. Another uppercut lands as Cobb steps back. However, Cobb finds the range for a hook. Stevenson showing good defense blocks Cobb's next uppercut attempt. A straight right lands on the side of Stevenson's head. A quiet round ends with a pitter patter jab to the nose of Cobb.
Round 7--Once again first to the punch Stevenson finds the range with a jab towards an advancing Cobb. Repeated jabs rain down on Cobb. A combination catches Cobb flat footed, Cobb takes it on his face. A forceful uppercut reveals more swelling on Cobb's left eye, yet Cobb finds Stevenson in range for a rock solid uppercut and he follows it up with a right cross and then lets his hands go with a combination of punches. Another jab from Cobb and Stevenson gets on his horse, collects his senses and delivers a power punch to Cobb's temple, a sublime right cross. Cobb is shaken and takes another uppercut before the referee stops the action at the bell.
Round 8-Cobb comes out visibly wobbly for first time to start the round. He clinches as both fighters hold on. At the break Cobb cranks a hook into the rib cage of Stevenson as an audible grunt can be heard over the din of the crowd noise. Stevenson uses his quicker hands to jab away from the entanglement. Another jab lands and this time rips a small cut above Cobb's right eye. Cobb fires back with his own hooking left. A left cross by Stevenson catches Cobb at the bell. The loud crowd cheering for resilent Cobb may have influenced the judging in this round.
Round 9--Both fighters exhausted clinch and hold to start the round. As the referee attempts to separate the combantants their heads clash. Neither fighter is worse for the accidental head butt. Cobb lands a solid uppercut. Exhanging scoring blows land by each fighter. Stevenson catches Cobb with a picture perfect straight right. Cobb swallows the thudding blow and charges onward. Feeble counters are easily blocked by the Cuban medalist, until a body-head combo scores a glancing blow for Cobb. Stevenson catches Cobb with a left cross at the bell.
Round 10--An even exhange opens the round. Stevenson then gets the better of a quicker jab. Cobb finds Stevenson body with a combination of shots. A straight right by Stevenson answers..and its back and forth action. Cobb lands a good uppercut, his strongest shot in several rounds. Stevenson jabs to keep Cobb off him. Cobb advances to land another uppercut, just as solid as the last. Punch weary fighters clinch in the center of the ring...what an effort...further evidence of worsening swelling of Cobb's left eye is showing as the bell rings.
Round 11--slow pacing and stalking by Cobb of Stevenson opens the round. Cobb lands a bone rattling hook to the body. Stevenson winces, but returns with a scoring uppercut. Cobb swings for fences and connects with another powerful body hook. A short cross connects and Cobb is breaking through Stevenson defenses. Stevenson keeps his distance and dances away. Collecting himself he sends forth a flicking jab as bell ends the round. Cheers erupt from the crowd as the Summit faithful feel their hero is getting the best of the recent action.
Round 12--In the final round, both fighters let loose a flurry of punches, neither taking an advantage. Cobb lands a straight cross, pushing Stevenson back. Stevenson dances away again...keeping his distance. Cobb yells at him, questioning his manhood. Stevenson does not take the bait and keeps a healthy distance. Cobb corrals him in the corner and unleashes an uppercut to the body catching Stevenson in the liver. More punishment follows with a short cross. Stevenson swings wildly but catches Cobb with a hook as punches are coming now fast and furious with in the final 30 seconds. The bell rings closing the fight as both fighters slump against each other exhausted. Both fighters raise their hands at the bell.
Before we go to the scorecards a big hand for these two warriors. It was a gallant effort by both fighters and a difficult fight to score in my opinion. We will see if the judges were influenced by the vocal and rough housing Texan crowd.
We go to the judges score cards........We have a Split Decison!
Judge 1 Stevenson 116 Cobb 113 (booing is loud and furious). Judge 2 Cobb 115 Stevenson112 (the crowd roars its approval) Judge 3 Stevenson 115 Cobb 113 (more booing and cursing throughout the crowd)...its good thing we have a healthy police presence in the arena tonight as this is a very unpopular decision with the crowd.
Punch Points Stevenson 74 Cobb 57 TKO Points Stevenson 4 Cobb 9
UBL Undercard Bout Michael Dokes vs Gordon Racette 8 Rounds
Both of these fighters recently lost challenges against ranked opponents, but they were competitive enough to warrant a shot at the vacant #10 slot.
R1: Racette stuck Dokes early with a powerful right. Then Dokes displayed some defensive prowess. Late in the round, Dokes landed a solid right of his own, but Racette did enough to win the round.
R2-4: For the next three rounds, this was just a lackluster fight. Dokes mostly threw hooks and combinations, while Racette continuously tried to land another big right. Both men seemed to be well-prepared defensively.
R5: The action started to heat up. Two warnings against Racette in this round, he was close to losing a point on the cards, but seemed to be landing the heavier shots. There was an exchange of hard uppercuts in the final seconds.
R6: With Dokes falling behind on the cards, he finally came out with some urgency. He openly challenged the Canadian with big hooks. Then jab, jab, jab... Racette was having a hard time getting his shots off. Then a clean hook got through for Dokes, backing Racette into the ropes. Dokes peppered him with combinations down the stretch! Big round for Dokes.
R7: Racette spent most of this round clinching and moving away. Not much action. Dokes was the aggressor, but Racette rallied late to even things up.
R8: Racette was still in position to win. Dokes had to fight with some desperation. Both were in Pressure mode. Dokes jab was effective on the tiring Racette, who tried a couple of wild combinations. A sweet combo scored for Dokes and then he slipped some of Racette's punches. A terrific counter-hook landed for Dokes! Then they traded hooks in the final 40 seconds.
Extremely close... I thought Dokes did enough to eek-out a split decision, but this one was declared a draw! 5-3 Dokes, 5-4 Racette, and 4-4 EVEN!
Figures... Two guys competing for a vacant spot in the rankings and THIS is what I get!!!??? I don't think either man was impressive enough to deserve a ranking anyway. I may just schedule two different fighters for the next eliminator.
Gerrie Coetzee vs Mike Weaver 12 Rounds Aug 1982, Madison Square Garden, NYC
These two guys have paralleled each other in the UBL world. Each man has had chances and each man has suffered terrible setbacks.
R1: Weaver clearly wanted to end this quickly. He tried to swamp Coetzee with hook after hook. Coetzee covered-up a lot and only traded with him in a couple spots.
R2: Weaver slowed way down in this round and focused on the body. Coetzee landed an uppercut and hook and boxed from outside to get the edge in this round.
R3: Coetzee followed a straight punch with a jolting hook around the guard! Weaver was shaken momentarily. With Coetzee stalking Weaver planted and ripped him with a pair of hard crosses! Coetzee was bleeding badly, but came back with a cross. Another crackling right from Weaver scored just before the bell! Man... that was a brutal round. The cut looks bad.
R4: Like round two, Weaver was more deliberate. Coetzee boxed with jabs and straight rights and seemed to even the score again.
R5: Weaver picked it up again and backed Coetzee into a corner with hooks and crosses. But Coetzee caught the over-aggressive Weaver with a clean hook and followed with another hook. Weaver looked a bit dazed, but it didn't last long. They traded rights before the bell.
R6: Early in the round, Weaver received a warning. It must have bothered him because seconds later, he ate a full-on hook from Coetzee and crumbled! 8...9...10!! Weaver wasn't steady! It's over! Another crushing KO loss for Weaver.
KO, 0:34 of Round 6
UBL RANKINGS, SEPT 82
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Greg Page 2 Gerry Cooney 3 Teofilo Stevenson 4 Randall Cobb 5 Jimmy Young 6 Trevor Berbick 7 Renaldo Snipes 8 Gerrie Coetzee 9 Joe Bugner 10 Lucien Rodriguez
Jimmy Young vs Lucien Rodriguez 10 Rounds The Checkerdome, St Louis, Sept 1982
The UBL returned to Mid-America with a big show featuring four world ranked heavyweights. On the undercard, former champion, Jimmy Young faced current European champ Lucien Rodriguez in a 10-round tilt.
R1: Rodriguez's plan was obviously to try to overwhelm the aging champ early, but Young repeatedly stung the challenger with jabs and moved away. Then, for about a minute solid, these two ripped off multiple combinations as if testing for weak links in the armor! Each man scored three distinct combinations and a couple of them were hard combos! Awesome start! Young's jab gave him the round, I thought.
R2: Rodriguez kept up the sustained pressure. In the middle part of the round, he started landed solid shots and really took it to Young. He kept Young on the defensive and connected with a variety of shots. Big round for Rodriguez!
R3: Young accepted the challenge and they exchanged combinations again! 2 each! I was not expecting such spirited action. Then Rodriguez cracked him with a pair of hard hooks and took over. Young went into a defensive shell and Rodriguez peppered away with combinations without doing major damage.
R4-7: For the next four rounds, it became much more Young's style of fight. More defense, movement, and clinching... All of these rounds were very close and difficult to score. Young was the more consistent with jabs and an occasional well-timed combination.
R8: Young's composure early in the fight started to pay-off hear. Rodriguez was losing effectiveness. He expended a lot of energy in the first three rounds. Great defense by Young kept Rodriguez guessing. Then he turned on the offense in spurts, landing a hard hook and a nice combination. Good round for Young.
R9: After eating a clean jab, Rodriguez mustered some reserve energy and connected with a pair of hooks. There was an even exchange at the bell. Not sure who wins this one...
R10: Using the jab, movement, clinching, Young had to be frustrating Rodriguez for the first 90 seconds. In the latter half of the round, Rodriguez rallied just enough with a jab and late combination to perhaps steal the final round.
Very interesting fight... I felt like Young might have pulled it out on the scorecards, although Rodriguez certainly had an edge in punch points.
The scores 7-3 Young, 5-5 EVEN, and 5-5 EVEN!! A majority draw!
Greg Page vs Gerry Cooney 12 Rounds The Checkerdome, St Louis, Sept 1982
After losing his title challenge to Holmes, Page rebounded with a nice KO of Coetzee to hold the #1 spot. Cooney's only speed bump was a split decision loss to Jimmy Young and similarly he came back by stopping Berbick in the 7th round to set-up this UBL title elimination bout.
R1: Very strong action in the first round as they repeatedly traded hooks. Cooney seemed intent on landing to Page's midsection. The round ended with a big flurry that was punctuated with a clean straight punch that snapped Cooney's head way back!
R2: Page tried to defuse things - ducking, moving, and clinching... but Cooney eventually insighted a big exchange. In the last half of the round Cooney stayed busy with uppercuts and hooks to the body.
R3: Page came on stronger in this frame. Cooney tried to fend him off with jabs and hooks. A heavy straight punch scored for Page and he followed it up with a combination! Cooney answered with a combination. They banged skulls late in the round, but both men were OK. Then Cooney stunned Page with a bone-jarring hook at the bell!
R4-5: For the next two rounds, Cooney continued to out-work Page on the inside, scoring hooks and combinations. Page was effective in spurts, but was more defensive-minded.
R6: Page ducked under a hook and jolted Cooney with a clean uppercut! Cooney continued to swing and miss. Page's timing was impeccable. He darted in with a hard straight punch. Then a combination from Page drew a trickle of blood from a small cut above Cooney's left eye. A brilliant round by Page. Everything worked...
R7: But Cooney came back out and regained momentum by throwing hook after hook! Glancing blows at first, but heavier punches got through later... Page just jabbed in self-defense mostly, but at the bell he did catch Cooney with a nice counter-hook.
R8: Page got on his toes and moved alot. Cooney gave chase with grazing shots. Page found an angle and landed a sizzling right! Cooney backed up blinking and another hard cross followed! Wow! Then Cooney returned fire in an even exchange. A solid hook from Cooney kept the action close.
R9: The fast pace continued and these fighters tested each other with all manner of punches in this round. Cooney was the busier of the two and he continued to get inside. Page continually circled away, but when he did throw leather he landed solid shots! In the closing seconds, they both scored hard shots. A counter uppercut from Page and looping left from Cooney...
R10-11: Fatigue was taking its toll on both and the action slowed a bit. In these two rounds, Cooney's punches seemed slightly stronger, but Page was fairly accurate with his long rights. These round could go either way.
R12: Feeling like Page was behind on the cards, he was instructed to go for broke. He timed Cooney's big hook and countered with sharp cross that caught Cooney clean, forcing him into a defensive shell. Page kept up the pressure, but wasn't able to get through with a solid punch. Then Page faded in the final minute, allowing Cooney to score a jab and a cross.
Man... ANOTHER close fight! We go to the scorecards... 115-114 Cooney 115-113 Page... and finally... 115-114 a split decision for Greg Page!
Once again, Cooney comes up just a bit short against a slicker boxer. And once again, Page is in position to challenge Holmes.
UBL RANKINGS UPDATE
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Greg Page 2 Gerry Cooney 3 Teofilo Stevenson 4 Randall Cobb 5 Trevor Berbick 6 Gerrie Coetzee 7 Jimmy Young 8 Renaldo Snipes 9 Lucien Rodriguez 10 Joe Bugner
Joe Bugner vs Leon Spinks October 1982 Manchester, England
Former champion Leon Spinks was granted a shot at regaining ranked status. Since Bugner essentially got his #10 ranking by default, this was viewed as a good measuring stick. Of course, Bugner had the crowd completely behind him.
R1: Bugner tried to crowd Spinks causing a clinch. The action started slowly, but by late in the round, Bugner got busy landing to the body and in combinations.
R2: Spinks looked dreadful. He couldn't solve Bugner's defense and while Bugner increasingly landed solid shots to the body. A cross upstairs caused Spinks' nose to bleed.
R3: Spinks showed some signs of life in the first minute with a combination and a jab. But Bugner took the momentum again with a hard hook and uppercut.
R4: Bugner continued to work at an economical pace. He made the most of it when he landed - lots of solid hooks, high and low.
R5: Spinks tried to gut it out and make something happen by pressuring Bugner, but he just not quick or accurate enough. Bugner continued to pick him apart with hard punches. Spinks was bleeding over the left eye.
R6: More lopsided action... A heavy combination drove Spinks to the ropes and a sharp cross caused another cut - over the right eye this time! Spinks tried to battle off the ropes and Bugner punished him with a hard combination to the body. Spinks returned to his corner looking like a beaten man.
And that was it! Spinks did not come out for the 7th round!
(The final combination that put him over the TKO threshold came right at the bell, so I just interpreted that he retired between rounds.)
It was never close. Spinks did not win a round and from the 4th round on, the beating got progressively worse. This was almost certainly Spinks last appearance in a UBL bout.
Lucien Rodriguez vs Ron Stander Rodriguez entered the UBL rankings via a draw with Jimmy Young. The UBL wanted to see the European Champ tested against a rough brawler, so why not give Ron Stander one last shot at the rankings? Stander was last seen going the distance in an entertaining loss to Joe Bugner.
R1: After a slow first minute, Stander began to work his way inside. He woke Rodriguez up with a uppercut which prompted a venomous flurry. Rodriguez accomodated Stander and began to get the better of the action on the inside by the end of the round. Interesting.
R2: Rodriguez lashed Stander with a sharp combination, but Stander took it well and kept the steady pressure coming. Rodriguez continued to throw combos in spurts, but Stander was the busier man overall. Probably an even round.
R3: Still a surprising pace as Rodriguez was willing to stand toe-to-toe. Faster hands allowed Rodriguez to score several hard combinations. Stander focused on the body, but was out-classed in this round.
R4: Stander went upstairs and scored a heavy combination followed by a bruising uppercut! Rodriguez responded with several hooks to the midsection and a hard combination of his own! A solid cross in the closing seconds probably won the round for Rodriguez.
R5: Rodriguez's work rate took a sharp decline here. Interesting again... Stander took advantage landing good combinations and a pair of jolting hooks. Easy round for Stander.
R6: Rodriguez countered Stander's wide hooks beautifully. Stander got through with another hard uppercut, but for the most part Rodriguez began to land his jabs and setup some good straight punches. A small cut opened under Stander's left eye. A decisive round for Rodriguez.
R7-9: For the next three rounds, Stander didn't seem to have the steam to be a big threat. The action was still good as Stander tried to pressure, but at this point Rodriguez showed more lateral movement and worked his jab. Late in the 8th, Rodriguez rallied with his jab and caused two more cuts (mouth and under right eye). Stander was starting to look like he'd been in a fight.
R10: Rodriguez must've felt he was safe on the scorecards, because he coasted. Meanwhile, Stander came after him with everything he had! Rodriguez tied up the charging challenger early, but Stander pounded away with a nice combination and then proceeded to land several hooks. Although Rodriguez was not stunned in this round, he took a solid beating.
The scores indeed reflected how close and interesting this fight was: 6-5 Rodriguez, 6-5 Stander, and 8-3 for the winner by majority decision, Lucien Rodriguez!
John Tate vs Scott Ledoux Toledo, OH, Lucas County Arena
Two former ranked heavyweights meet in a make or break fight. Ledoux stayed in the top 10 for over two years, while Tate exited the rankings quickly and has been lurking on the fringe for almost two years.
R1: Ledoux seemed comfortable early, scoring with a couple of hooks, but Tate came on strong and dominated the second half of the round - banging to the body with combinations.
R2: Tate continued to crowd Ledoux and caught him with a jolting hooks. Ledoux answered with a nice cross and a clean uppercut. A late body shot by Tate may have given him the edge in a close round.
R3: Tate was on a mission. He swamped Ledoux with volume punching... Ledoux made a stand and tried to battle back but Tate kept pouring it on! Late in the round, Ledoux was dazed and bleeding from beneath the left eye.
R4-5: After Tate's huge effort, he seemed to pull back for the next two rounds. The action was much slower, but Ledoux had just enough success with his jab to gain the edge in these rounds, but the cut under his left eye worsened.
R6: A heavy left caused Ledoux to hold. He answered with two good punches, but then Tate nailed him with a clean left hook that had Ledoux reeling! A pulverizing straight right dropped Ledoux to the canvas! He climbed to his feet and absorbed a flurry from Tate before the action was stopped. A TKO for Big John!
2:15 of Round 6
Unified Boxing League
World Heavyweight Rankings - December 1982
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Teofilo Stevenson 2 Greg Page 3 Randall Cobb 4 Gerry Cooney 5 Renaldo Snipes 6 Trevor Berbick 7 Gerrie Coetzee 8 Jimmy Young 9 Joe Bugner 10 Lucien Rodriguez
January 14, 1983 Tex Cobb vs Joe Bugner 12 Rounds Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth
Two rough but aging veterans get the new year started; Cobb's last fight was a split decision loss to Teofilo Stevenson, which didn't really hurt his ranking much. Meanwhile, Joe Bugner ended Leon Spinks' UBL days with a lopsided TKO to earn a shot at Cobb's spot.
For the first four rounds, it was a gritty, close-quarters slugfest. Cobb won the odd rounds and Bugner won the even ones. Lots of solid shots were landed by both, but neither man was stunned by anything. In the middle rounds, the pace downshifted, but Bugner seemed to consistently land the cleaner blows. Cobb rallied in Round 9 with a couple of big combinations. The quality of the action degraded with fatigue in the late rounds. More clinching. A couple headbutts - but amazingly no big cuts... Going into the final round, it seemed that Bugner still had a slight edge, but the pro-Cobb crowd could easily have influenced the scoring. Bugner landed a solid cross and a jolting hook to the ribs in the first minute, but Cobb answered with two heavy rights to the head in closing seconds to steal a crucial round. Very close fight... Scoring by rounds: 8-4 (what the heck?), 7-5, and 7-6... A unanimous decision for Randall "Tex" Cobb!
January 21st, 1983 Renaldo Snipes vs Jimmy Young 12 Rounds Playboy Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Mister Snipes leaped into the UBL rankings via a third round KO of Trevor Berbick last October. Meanwhile, Jimmy Young struggled against Lucien Rodriguez and settle for a draw, fueling speculation that he's fading from the world class. He's here to prove them wrong.
The younger, stronger Snipes came out fast and pressed the attack early, perhaps playing right into the cagey veteran's hands. In the 3rd round Young peppered him with countering hooks to clearly win the round. Snipes adjusted well, exhibiting a variety of styles throughout. Young's jabs and counter-attacking skills kept him in it, while Snipes remained the aggressor and started to build a lead through the middle rounds. But Snipes started to tire and Young then found his own opportunities to score, particularly in Rounds 9 through 11 where he landed several solid combos. Late in the 11th, Snipes finally caught Young with a clean straight punch and he was wobbled at the bell. Reinvigorated, Snipes went all-out in the final round. He swamped Young with volume punching and scored plenty, although nothing cleanly connected. Young did get the better of the final flurry at the bell, but it wasn't enough to take the round.
Very interesting fight... We had a split decision... The scores: 7-6 Young!... 7-5 Snipes... and 9-5... for Mister Renaldo Snipes!
Jan 1983 UBL HW rankings
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Teofilo Stevenson 2 Randall Cobb 3 Greg Page 4 Gerry Cooney 5 Renaldo Snipes 6 Trevor Berbick 7 Gerrie Coetzee 8 Lucien Rodriguez 9 Jimmy Young 10 Joe Bugner
Lucien Rodrguez vs Tim Witherspoon Paris, France 12 Rounds
Undefeated prospect "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon got his first crack at the UBL rankings, but also had to fight on foriegn soil for the first time, making the task a bit more daunting. There were reports of issues in the Witherspoon training camp... Rodriguez edged into the rankings with two close, tough outings against Ron Stander and Jimmy Young last year and he needed to be impressive here to move up in the world rankings.
Witherspoon surprised Rodriguez in the opening moments with quick movement and shifty angles. Witherspoon immediately connected with two big straight rights, one of which stunned the home favorite! Maintaining the pressure, Rodriguez stayed in a defensive shell for the remainder of the round. But Rodriguez turned it around in the 2nd stanza as he got inside and pounded Witherspoon with effective combinations! Early in the 3rd, Rodriguez rocked Witherspoon with a combination which was the telling moment of the round, but he suffered a big cut over the left eye from a punch. Rodriguez had a narrow edge in the 4th as well, but in the 5th and 6th, Witherspoon picked it up throwing hooks and combos in close. The pace seemed to take a toll on Witherspoon however. He slowed down for a while and Rodriguez found a comfortable range to outscore the American for the next three rounds. In the late rounds, things got close again as Witherspoon got his second wind. The 11th clearly belonged to the Witherspoon as he connected repeatedly with jabs. In the final round, Rodriguez tried to outmanuever the aggressor and fight in spots. Witherspoon gave chase but couldn't land a bomb in the first half of the round. With a minute remaining, Witherspoon scored a nice combination. Rodriguez moved and jabbed effectively - still anybody's round. And right before the bell, Witherspoon connected with a crushing uppercut that dropped Rodriguez!! Wow!! Rodriguez wobbled to his feet at the bell to survive the round!
Was the knockdown enough? The scores read: 7-6 Witherspoon, 8-6 Rodriguez... and 8-7 for Terrible Tim Witherspoon!!!
Great drama. I'm surprised that Rodriguez didn't get a bit more of a scoring boost for being the home favorite, but the knockdown made all the difference in this one!
UBL World Heavyweight Championship Larry Holmes vs Teofilo Stevenson 15 Rounds - Caesars Palace - Las Vegas
This was a long-anticipated matchup. Stevenson's climb up the UBL ladder turned out to be a bit tougher than expected, leading many pundits to speculate that he went professional too late in his career. Meanwhile, Holmes is in firm control, defending the title twice last year with unanimous decisions over Young and Page.
From the opening bell, Holmes seemed relaxed and confident. He methodically picked Stevenson apart with hard jabs in the 1st round and then brought combinations and wicked rights in the 2nd round. Stevenson increasingly tried to press his way inside, but rarely landed any significant leather. The champion built a solid lead. Things got more interesting in the 5th, when Stevenson finally caught Holmes with a big hook late in the round. Holmes covered well and shook it off. Rounds 6 & 7 were close games of cat-n-mouse. No big punches scored by either man... Holmes probably had the edge on account of a couple of solid straight rights, but the challenger was getting increasingly aggressive. In the 8th, Holmes accepted the challenge to brawl and through the first half of the round, his faster hands got the better of it. Then Stevenson jacked him up with a big uppercut! Whoa! But Holmes kept his feet and his wits! Stevenson tried to follow-up, landing a combo and a cross. Holmes started pumping a defensive jab and Stevenson cut off the ring with combination at the bell! But Holmes proved he was fine as the 9th round unfolded, repeatedly landing his right and slipping away. With 1 minute remaining Holmes timed a counter-hook the backed Stevenson up, then he tatooed the Cuban champion with a stunning straight punch! A huge rebound for Holmes! Holmes continued to dictate the action into the 10th round. Now Stevenson was trying to fend him off with jabs. Holmes zeroed in and cracked him with a stinging right - Stevenson was wobbled! A clean cross followed and the challenger fell hard!! He barely beat the count... Holmes resumed with a big combination to force the stoppage! A satisfying TKO victory for reigning champion Larry Holmes!
TKO 9, 0:47 remaining
UBL RANKINGS, March 1983
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Randall Cobb 2 Greg Page 3 Teofilo Stevenson 4 Gerry Cooney 5 Renaldo Snipes 6 Trevor Berbick 7 Gerrie Coetzee 8 Tim Witherspoon 9 Lucien Rodriguez 10 Jimmy Young
UBL Double-Header, April 1983 Madison Square Garden Greg Page vs Trevor Berbick Gerrie Coetzee vs Pinklon Thomas
Page and Coetzee find themselves in the same spots as they were 13 months ago, although they've both moved up and down in the rankings in the interim. Page solidified his top contender status with a KO of Coetzee. Coetzee rebounded with a nice KO of Mike Weaver, but then came up short in a narrow decision loss to Berbick. Page went on to win a title-eliminator against Cooney, but then suffered another unanimous loss in a rematch with the Holmes. Such is life in the UBL. So now Coetzee is just trying to hold on to a world ranking against Thomas who is hungry to break into the UBL picture. Page seeks to make a case for a third shot at Holmes.
Gerrie Coetzee vs Pinklon Thomas 10 Rounds
Coetzee's first good punch of the fight ripped a cut over Thomas' left eye. Not a good sign... Thomas responded with hard hooks to the body. Coetzee landed more hooks and a stiff combo upstairs. Excellent action in the opening round. Thomas was more cautious in the 2nd, until another big hook staggered him with over a minute remaining! Thomas punched back enough to slow Coetzee's finishing attempt. Coetzee simply out-worked Thomas in the 3rd, but with Thomas being cut and staggered early, it may have been a good idea for him to gather his wits. Thomas changed his tactics - jabbing and moving - and it worked for him in the 4th and 5th rounds. Coetzee managed to get closer to him in the 6th and land some good body shots and in the next round, Thomas decided to stand and trade with him on the inside. Coetzee was jolted by a clean uppercut and seemed to be stunned for the first time. The 8th round was great as neither man backed down and both landed several hard powershots! Coetzee seemed to build an advantage in the 9th, but Thomas rallied late with a counter-uppercut and combination to the body to even it up! In the final round, Thomas was resolved to land a big counterpunch - and he scored a on a couple, while Coetzee pressured landing hook after hook, but none of them cleanly. Thomas'left eye was swollen on top of the ragged cut from the first round...
A very good fight! Again, too close for me to call, as I rolled the scorecards: 7-4 Coetzee, 6-4 Thomas... and 6-5 for Gerrie Coetzee! Phew... Gutsy performance. Thomas a game challenger throughout. I get the feeling we'll see more of Thomas, but for now, Coetzee remains a UBL contender.
Greg Page vs Trevor Berbick 12 Round - Main Event
The first round was a jab-fest and Page - not surprisingly - had the advantage there, landing a stinger just before the bell. No real fireworks early in the 2nd... Then suddenly, Berbick uncorked a shocking combination that left Page slumping into the ropes! He got up and absorbed another flurry of punches! As he tried to slide away, a straight right snapped Page's head back!! Wow! Page's defense gave him a chance, but Berbick continued to go for broke, landing two more combos and forcing the stoppage with only 9 seconds remaining!
Quite a surprise! And quite a disaster for Page, who had clearly been the #2 man in the division for over a year now.
May 1983 UBL HW Rankings
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Randall Cobb 2 Trevor Berbick 3 Teofilo Stevenson 4 Gerry Cooney 5 Renaldo Snipes 6 Gerrie Coetzee 7 Greg Page 8 Tim Witherspoon 9 Lucien Rodriguez 10 Jimmy Young
Jimmy Young vs Marvis Frazier 10 Rounds Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, May 1983
Newcomer Marvis Frazier against a fading former UBL champion Jimmy Young. In Young's last appearance, he lost a decision to Renaldo Snipes, but he has proven to be surprisingly resilient in the UBL, and so he has this chance to defend his world ranking.
From the opening bell, it was apparent that Young was just a shell of his prime abilities. He suffered a cut in the 1st round and was stunned, but battled enough to keep it close. Frazier worked on the cut with jabs in the second and again seemed to have Young hurt with an electrifying cross! Frazier went on to outscore Young at a 3-to-1 pace for the next two rounds. The beating culminated in a clean jab-cross combination that put Young on the deck in the 5th! To Young's credit, he came back strong in the 6th and 7th rounds and fought evenly with the younger fighter. In the 9th, Frazier imposed his will on the inside and hammered Young pretty handily to pretty much seal the fight as he cruised through the 10th.
Dominating unanimous decision for Marvis Frazier!
Gerry Cooney vs Mike Weaver 10 Rounds Chicago IL, May 1983
Weaver had fallen out of the UBL rankings last year with KO losses to both Berbick and Coetzee. He was reportedly reinvigorated and ready to make a comeback. Cooney's stock has been dropping for a while, after a narrow loss to Page and then a devastating first round KO loss to Stevenson.
The first round was pretty active and Weaver had the edge as he landed hooks on the inside. Cooney escalated the action over the next few rounds, but Weaver matched him and then some. In the third, both men were stunned at some point and had to rally back. Great drama! And in the 4th, it was non-stop, give-and-take slugging! Cooney seemed to have the advantage in that round... The 5th was playing out the same way, but Weaver surged heavily in the final 40 seconds to steal the round - including a thunderous combination! More of the same in the 6th, but this time it was Cooney with a bruising hook that wobbled Weaver! Oh my!! What a fight! They traded big combinations to start the 7th, but Cooney came away stunned! He covered up and Weaver only got through with his jab. Late in the round, Cooney's straight rights found the mark and made it too close to call! In the 8th, it looked like Weaver's steady pressure would take the round, but Cooney finally caught him clean in the final seconds and Weaver had to stammer back to his corner! Unreal... A heavy hook from Cooney started the 9th round and caused swelling on Weaver's right eye. Weaver got inside and jolted Cooney with uppercuts. Then a cross backed him up. A big combination pinned Cooney to the ropes and that was it!!! A TKO stoppage for Mike Weaver!!
TKO 9, 0:55 remaining
Man, that was a blast! One of the best no-knockdown fights I've ever witnessed on my table top.
UBL Heavyweights, June 1983
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Trevor Berbick 2 Randall Cobb 3 Renaldo Snipes 4 Mike Weaver 5 Gerrie Coetzee 6 Tim Witherspoon 7 Gerry Cooney 8 Greg Page 9 Marvis Frazier 10 Lucien Rodriguez
Weaver vaults back into the rankings, but he must defend his position against a lower ranking next time. Berbick is now the mandatory challenger for Holmes, probably in August. Cobb and Snipes are on a collision course.
Lucien Rodriguez vs Gordon Racette 10 Rounds, Miami Beach, FL June 1983
The rough and tumble Canadian got his second shot at the UBL rankings against the French heavyweight. Rodriguez lost a narrow decision to Tim Witherspoon last time and needs a strong showing here.
In the early going, it looked as if Rodriguez was just not interested in fighting world-class competition. He stayed away, danced, and dodged while Racette persistently pressed in and scored solid shots on the inside. Late in the 4th, they traded clean hooks, but Racette's was harder and Rodriguez was wobbled. In the 5th, Rodriguez began to take charge and with minute remaining, he blasted Racette with crisp combination that forced Racette to clinch and hold! Rodriguez dominated the 6th round, landing everything and again Racette was in deep water by the bell! Racette connected with a solid straight punch early in the 7th, but from there, Rodriguez methodically chopped away - until a hook and a combination had Racette out on his feet and the ref waved it off!
TKO 7, 0:29 remaining
So once again, Racette comes up short on the UBL stage. But at least Rodriguez proved that he's got something and still deserves to be in the rankings.
Randall "Tex" Cobb vs Renaldo "Mister" Snipes 12 Rounds, Astrodome, Houston TX July 1983
The speculation was that Cobb is a fading fighter. His last fight was a disputed decision win in Texas against Bugner, who has since dropped out of the UBL picture. He looked vulnerable there, so this will be a real litmus test against a surging young fighter.
Cobb relentlessly tried to stay inside. He was the busier fighter in the first two rounds, but Snipes landed the sharper punches when he was able to get distance. Too close to call... The pace picked up in the 3rd and 4th, which favored Snipes. Several good hooks setup a clean straight punch for Snipe in the 4th which seem to stun the older man! Best punch so far... Cobb seemed to have the edge with a thunderous body shot in the 5th, but in the 6th, Snipes landed several effective body shots. Good stuff, but it got better in the 7th. Cobb surprised everyone with an extended assault. He threw a ton of punches as if he was going for broke! Although he did land lots of solid leather, Snipes was never hurt. And Snipes also answered with a few solid shots of his own, but it was a good round for Cobb. Cobb was still the busier man in the 8th and did enough to win the round, but he had swelling around both eyes at this point from accumulated damage. In the 9th, Snipes began to take the fight to Cobb, snapping his head back with a crisp jab and then going to body. Snipes belted him with full-on combination and the tough guy took a knee against the ropes!! Wow! Cobb - of course - resumed the battle and kept it competitive to the end. In the final round, a hard jab from Snipes opened a deep cut over Cobb's right eye, but since it was the final round, he was allowed to finish.
Cobb's swollen and bleeding face told the part of the story, but Snipes could attest that this was not an easy fight! A real gutsy performance from Cobb.
Snipes by Unanimous Decision (10-6. 9-6, and 10-5)
Renaldo has taken a big step toward a title shot, but Berbick is in line ahead of him. Snipes will have to hold this lofty position through at least one or two more fights.
UBL World Heavyweight Championship Larry Holmes vs Trevor Berbick 15 Rounds, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Both fighters were reportedly in great shape and focused, building anticipation for a good championship fight between two guys that don't like each other.
Holmes was unusually aggressive in the opening round. Berbick was not overwhelmed and managed to pick him off with grazing hooks and jabs. Edge to Berbick... Holmes completely changed tactics, used his legs and found angles in a highly mobile round 2. Berbick landed the heavier leather, but not often enough. Round 3 was a cautious jab-fest and Holmes had a slight advantage there. Holmes was looking for more of the same in the 4th, but Berbick changed up and was effective on the inside in the final minute with a hard combination and a heavy shot downstairs! Holmes busted the challenger with a clean straight right to open the 5th! Man... what a punch... He followed with some good uppercuts until Berbick caught him with a great counter-hook! Pow! The champ kept his feet and absorbed a shuttering uppercut! Terrific action in that round. Too close to call. In the 6th, Berbick tried to move and counter, but Holmes timed him and was able to out-box him anyway. So in the 7th, Berbick went back inside and hammered the body to narrowly win that round. Wow... These guys were trying everything. Holmes delivered another battering ram right to the face to start the 8th and back Berbick up. After an even exchange, a bold Berbick cut loose with a pair of great combinations to the head and body. An even round... Both men fought outside in the 9th and traded clean jabs with about a minute remaining. Blood was streaming from Berbick's left eyebrow, but he out-worked the champ in the closing moments of this round. For the next two rounds, they were both judicious with their punches, but when they did land a blow, it was bruising! Berbick came on strong in the first minute of the 12th with two big hooks! Holmes replied with two sharp crosses to even things up! Holmes' jab was the difference in the final minute. Berbick's work rate and determination waned in the 13th-14th, perhaps he was trying to save it for a big finish, but Holmes picked him apart and seemed to land his right at will. In the final round, Berbick came to life and tried to remove Holmes' head with haymakers - a couple of which connected solidly. Holmes mostly evaded, but late in the round he slugged it out to make it a close round. The cut over Berbick's left eye was a ragged gash by the bell.
Win or lose, Berbick was very good in this fight. He used all modes and defensively he seemed Holmes' equal in the match.
The scores: 10-7 Holmes 10-6 Berbick and 9-7....
Larry Holmes! Still reigning Heavyweight Champion of the World!
That may be the best UBL title fight so far.
Greg Page vs David Bey 10 Rounds, Sept 1983
Page was last seen getting demolished by Berbick in the 2nd round of their April match. Bey is a fast-rising prospect, but many believe that he may have bitten-off more than he can chew here.
In the opening round, Bey came out with aggression. He used the jab, then followed with a big hook! Whop! Page was all right though. He replied with two hard crosses! There was a heavy exchange... Then another hard hook from Bey! Page looked to land his right and scored a couple of grazing shots, but it was a good round for the prospect. The first minute of the 2nd round was much the same, but then reality began to set-in. Page started timing the hook and landed a beautiful counterpunch at the bell. Clearly Page's round... Page was in total control in the 3rd and shook Bey with a clean straight punch. Bey tried to pressure him in the 4th, but was not very effective. Page just picked him apart and things were looking grim for Bey. Forty seconds into the 5th, Page blasted him with a cross and had Bey reeling! He pursued with a pulverizing right that put Bey down for the count!
KO, 2:19 remaining in the 5th!
Page needed a strong performance. Bey has learned that he's not ready for the big stage.
Coetzee-Weaver II Mike Weaver vs Gerrie Coetzee September 1983, 12 Rounds
Just over a year ago, Coetzee KO'd Weaver which hastened his decline in the rankings. But a year later, Coetzee is still ranked #5 and Weaver has propelled himself above Coetzee by stopping #4 ranked (at the time) Gerry Cooney in the 9th round. So the UBL had to see if Coetzee's victory in 82 was a fluke. Could Weaver stand up to the last man to beat him?
R1: Round one was rough. Two big guys bangin' away on the inside. Both fighters complained of head-butting, but no lasting damage resulted. Late in the round, they traded solid combinations! Then Weaver went upstairs with a clean cross that put Coetzee on the canvas!! Wow! Coetzee managed to wobble back to his corner after the bell.
R2: Driven to regain his dignity, Coetzee kept more of a gap in the 2nd round and tried to connect clean. He was busy enough to win the round and Weaver's right eye show some swelling.
R3: The 3rd was more of a tactical match of wits and it was close until, in the closing moments, when Weaver cracked Coetzee with a sharp straight punch that stunned him big time!
R4: Coetzee responded well again and took the fight to Weaver in the first minute of the 4th, but apparently Weaver was waiting for something... and he found it with 1:20 remaining - an overhand right for the second knockdown! Weaver tried to put him away, Coetzee was able to hang in there until the bell!
R5: Coetzee used his jab more effectively early in the 5th, but Weaver eventually nailed him with the big cross again! Coetzee was down for the third time! But he somehow climbed to his feet... Weaver drove him into the corner with another clean shot and that was it! TKO! And sweet revenge for Mike Weaver!
TKO, 1:56 remaining in the 5th round
UBL RANKINGS, Oct 1983
Champ Larry Holmes 1 Trevor Berbick 2 Mike Weaver 3 Renaldo Snipes 4 Randall Cobb 5 Tim Witherspoon 6 Gerry Cooney 7 Greg Page 8 Lucien Rodriguez 9 Gerrie Coetzee 10 Marvis Frazier
UBL Double-header Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Marvis Frazier vs James Tillis
Newcomer, Marvis Frazier was required to defend his station against former UBL-ranked veterant James "Quick" Tillis. Tillis has been out of the UBL picture for 20 months. This should be quite a test for the Frazier!
Tillis lashed Frazier with his jab and stayed on his toes in the first round. It was close, but Tillis seemed to be dictating the action. Frazier thumped Tillis with two big hooks to the head, early in round 2, but then Tillis used his legs again and easily out-boxed the younger man for the rest of the round. Interesting... Not much action in the 3rd, but Frazier landed a hard cross late to get edge there. In the 4th, both men tried pot-shots from the outside. It was even until Frazier stuck Tillis with a mean jab and was able to follow with a hard hook! Frazier continued to build momentum in the 5th. He was clearly scoring the cleaner shots. Frazier's aggression picked up more steam in the 6th and Tillis ate a couple of hard rights in the final minute. Tillis didn't seem to have much to offer. But that all changed in the 7th... Frazier's head was snapped back by a couple wicked jabs in the first minute. Frazier suddenly seemed fatigued from his previous efforts and Tillis was finding opportunities. Straight punch... Combination... And as the bell approached, Frazier was open for big combination and Tillis sent him slumping into the ropes! Frazier was down and disoriented! And the count expired! A shocking KO for James Tillis!
KO, 0:08 remaining of Round 7
Tim Witherspoon vs Michael Dokes
Dokes has remained on the fringes of the top 10 for the past couple years. He beat Mercado a couple times, but has not been able to come up with the big win to plant him in the rankings. Witherspoon won a close decision in France to break-in and since then has benefitted by several other fighters sliding down in the rankings. Both fighters have something to prove in this match.
Witherspoon's heavy right caused some early swelling on Dokes right eye in the opening round. Hmmmm... But the first two rounds were very close and could be scored either way. Witherspoon went elusive in the 3rd, but Dokes came after him with purpose and connected with several hard shots to take that round. Dokes slightly out-worked Witherspoon in the 4th as well and seemed to be building a lead on the scorecards. In the 5th, Witherspoon suddenly went on the offensive. He jolted Dokes with hard rights several times. Dokes stood and traded with him at the bell in a heavy exchange! Witherspoon continued to bring it and he caught Dokes clean for a knockdown in the 6th! Witherspoon nearly ended it with a barrage of combinations! (He was literally one-punch away from a TKO stoppage). But Dokes defended desperately and survived the round! Witherspoon continued to press for the stoppage in the first half of the 7th, but Dokes hung in there, and then rallied on the inside for the last 90 seconds! Wow... Dokes found more success on the inside for the first minute of the 8th round, but then Witherspoon surged as his powerful right found the mark repeatedly. Dokes was stunned by a clean shot in the closing seconds! The 9th unfolded in a similar manner, with Witherspoon imposing his will as the round progressed, but Dokes did good just to make it to the final round! Dokes went to well and gave everything he had to take this fight from Witherspoon in the final round. He easily won the round, but Witherspoon just cruised to the decision.
7-4, 6-5, 7-5... Unanimous for Terrible Tim!
I don't recall the last time I saw a fighter on the brink - like Dokes - manage to hang in there round-after-round! He survived three rounds of TKO watch. Had he not rallied in the 7th, Witherspoon would have stopped him late in the 8th. Amazing.
Renaldo Snipes vs Lucien Rodriguez November 1983 Madison Square Garden, NYC
The Main Event in a night full of boxing in New York, Snipes came in on winning streak over Berbick, Cobb, and Young, while Rodriguez was last seen out-classing Gordon Racette in a 7th round TKO. So Rodriguez had a big opportunity to move up the UBL ladder here, but Snipes was trying to make a case for the next title shot.
Round 1: Rodriguez showed some deft boxing and a well-timed jab. Snipes trailed him, but did not make an effort to cut-off the ring. Rodriguez managed to land a crisp combination for the telling moment of the round.
Round 2: Rodriguez completely changed tactics and became the aggressor in this round, however Snipes adjusted and kept Rodriguez at the end of his jab. Good stuff. Rodriguez landed grazing hooks, but Snipes' jab opened a cut over Rodriguez's right eye. Close round.
Round 3: Another big change of tactics for both men. This time they stayed at the center of the ring and looked for an opening. The first exchange was even, but then Snipes drilled him with a straight punch and Rodriguez fell flat! Oh my! A perfectly timed bomb... The seconds ticked away and Rodriguez could not shake it off! Another huge victory for Mister Snipes!!
KO, 2:18 remaining in Round 3
BERBICK-COONEY II Nassau, Bahamas December 1983
In July of last year, Cooney stopped Berbick in the 7th round, but the winds of fate changed when Cooney lost to Page and Stevenson. Berbick rebounded with big wins over Coetzee and Page to earn a shot at Holmes. This is Berbick's first appearance since he came up short on a split decision against Holmes. Cooney is just trying to keep from slipping out of the rankings entirely.
Round 1: It didn't take long for the fireworks to begin. A vicious exchange occured in the first minute. Berbick threw bombs at Cooney's head and scored a couple of hard shots. Cooney tied him up with a minute left. A clean cross started some swelling around Cooney's right eye.
Round 2: Berbick continued to crowd Cooney. A minute into the round, Cooney connected with a huge right! Berbick crumbled to his hands and knees! When he got up, Cooney made a strong attempt to end it and stunned him with another combination! Berbick was able to outlast the storm.
Round 3: Again Berbick stayed committed to fighting inside. They exchanged evenly in the first minute, but Berbick took charge with heavy body shots and hooks to the head! Cooney absorbed significant punishment, but wasn't staggered by anything. Nonetheless, a great round for Berbick after suffering a knockdown.
Round 4: Cooney let his punches fly as this round wore on. It was even through two minutes, but Cooney dominated the final minute as he landed two combinations, one of which wobbled Berbick again! A sharp straight punch snapped Berbick's head just before the bell.
Round 5: After some jostling and movement in the first minute, Berbick assaulted Cooney with a shuttering combination upstairs! He was hurt! Two more combinations followed before Cooney responded with a pair of hooks late in the round. Back-and-forth action... What a great fight!
Round 6: Cooney ran into a clean hook! He was staggered but kept his feet! Berbick probed with his jab and landed another bomb upside the head! Cooney was still in trouble and there was lots of time left! Berbick backed off a bit and they traded crosses. Then, out of nowhere, Cooney exploded a hook on the right side of Berbick's face!!! He's down!!! Holy moly! 8...9...10!! It's over! Cooney has stopped Berbick for the second time!
KO 0:53 remaining, Round 6
Wow... Tremendous fight. After Berbick's ascent and Cooney's losing streak, I thought this might be the last we see of Cooney. But he proved that the first win over Berbick was not a fluke and that he belongs in the title picture.
UBL World Heavyweight Rankings
End of Year 1983
- Champ Larry Holmes
- 1 Mike Weaver
- 2 Gerry Cooney
- 3 Renaldo Snipes
- 4 Trevor Berbick
- 5 Tim Witherspoon
- 6 Randall Cobb
- 7 Greg Page
- 8 Gerrie Coetzee
- 9 James Tillis
- 10 Lucien Rodriguez
I continued to conduct this project solitaire for two more seasons, which are on my Whimstorm site: