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Thread: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

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    Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Let's suppose that Duane Bobick never went to South Africa to fight and lose to Kallie Knoetze in February, 1978. Also, let's suppose Leon Spinks, after beating Ali for the title that same month, is free to make a voluntary defense of his WBA belt. Spinks selects Bobick as the opponent.

    Bobick is 40-1 entering this fight, and Spinks is 7-0-1. The physical stats are Bobick at 6'3", 214lbs., and Spinks at 6'1", 201lbs. Both guys are at their best.

    I would rate this bout at a 60% chance for a Bobick victory, and a 40% chance for a Spinks victory. It would be a very "iffy" kind of fight.

    The reason I give Bobick the edge here --something that may surprise many-- is because of the trouble Leon always had with physically strong fighters who could bull him around. We saw Spinks struggle with Scott LeDoux in the fall of 1977, for instance. Bobick was stronger, more technically proficient, and harder hitting than LeDoux.

    In Leon's favor is that Bobick was a slow starter who didn't take a big punch very well. Leon wasn't a huge bomber, but he had snap in his blows, so there's the possibility that he could gotten Bobick out of there early.

    Here are the two scenarios I envision...in both instances all of the action takes place on the inside...a classic "barroom brawl":

    SPINKS VICTORY (40%)
    Leon starts fast in this fight, winging in quick, crackling left hooks and right hands on Bobick's jaw. Leon is on top from the opening bell, and Bobick just doesn't seem to have the agility or the speed to stay out of harms way. In this case Bobick could be overwhelmed in round one, or he could have been beaten down and stopped within four or five rounds. This is a close quarters fight, with Spinks's superiority in speed, aggression and firepower carrying the day.

    BOBICK VICTORY (60%)
    In this scenario, Spinks gets off to a more aggressive start than Bobick, and he wins the early rounds with his crackling combinations. Leon, however, just doesn't seem to have the overwhelming kind of punching power that is necessary to exploit Bobick's durability problems, thus Duane remains on his feet in the first few rounds despite falling behind on the cards. By the fourth or fifth round, Bobick's strong, clubbing body attack is hurting Leon, and the tide of combat turns in Duane's favor. Leon's punch output drops as he is clearly being hurt and bullied by the bigger, stronger Bobick. Bobick shifts his attack upstairs, and by the eighth round he's won the fight by kayo or TKO. Leon makes several trips to the canvas.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    No offense, but I couldn't think of a more worthless matchup. Nevertheless, it would be an interesting bout. However, I think Spinks would defeat him. Spinks wasn't all that, but he was better than Bobick as a pro.

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    Leon needs his head on straight

    If that is possible.

    Leon goes into this proposed defense with his mind aflutter and his corner in disarray they wayit was for the Ali rematch, I think Bobick has a great shot at coming away with the title.

    BUT, if Leon is at his "best", say Ali I, Mercardo or even the Holmes bout, I think he wears down Duane mid way through the fight and stops him by round 7 or 8. Leon keeps on coming and Bobicks heart/spirit wilts.

    Hawk

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Spink's best shot is to catch Bobick cold for a quick k.o.

    If he doesn't I think Bobick wears him out and wins in the later rounds, maybe 8-9 rounds.

    An in-shape Spinks is a fairly formidable foe, but when his chin was tested, it didn't stand up all that well. Ali didn't hurt him that much because by then his hands were really pretty brittle and in the first fight his timing was poor because of lack of training...if Bobick caught Spinks like Ali did I think it would be a different story.

    This would be a fight that no one really cared about but watched like it was a just happened car wreck......

    "Entertain us with some carnage, please " Thank you for hurting one another for our viewing pleasure.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Whilst we could never be sure which Leon would turn up, i think the real inconsistancies came after the Ali 1 Fight, up to and Including Ali 1st there was something of a consistant drive About Leon, i would certainly take the Leon who persisted, pursevered, and eventually climbed all over Big Bernardo Mercado to be a little bit too lively for Duane. (Big Bernie had flatterned a young Berbick in the 1st and withstood a Bomb for Earnie Shavers to outlast him, so there was some merit to this win - particularly for a smallish attacking Heavyweight )

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Certainly the Bernardo win was Leon's high point at heavyweight next to his win over Ali. I haven't seen the fight in a few years but I remember Leon walking through some big shots and wearing down the #1 WBC contender on the undercard of Holmes-Ali. Leon was impressive enough that some in the boxing media at the time thought he might have a chance to upset Larry Holmes....WRONG!

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Quote Originally Posted by 10-8
    Certainly the Bernardo win was Leon's high point at heavyweight next to his win over Ali. I haven't seen the fight in a few years but I remember Leon walking through some big shots and wearing down the #1 WBC contender on the undercard of Holmes-Ali. Leon was impressive enough that some in the boxing media at the time thought he might have a chance to upset Larry Holmes....WRONG!
    I remember I picked Leon to defeat Holmes in their 1981 title tiff. I had egg on my face after that.

    My thinking was that Leon would swarm Holmes, keep the fight at close quarters, and pile up points en route to a decision win. I figured, incorrectly, that Holmes: 1) wouldn't keep Spinks on the outside for enough of the fight to dominate with his jab, height, reach and boxing skills; 2) Holmes would be very awkward at close quarters and find himself outfought by Leon.

    I totally underestimated Larry's ability to manhandle Spinks...to break the smaller guy like an egg.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=B8r0lIyREPo

    Here's Larry's KO over Leon.

    Leon is the only swarmer that immediately comes to mind (excepting Mike Tyson) that Holmes fought. It should have been a great fight and it was shaping up to be one but Larry got the big shot in and Leon was done. Spinks was never good on the ropes and when hurt wouldn't move or clinch. He did duck under alot of Larry's shots during the final barrage but the corner threw in the towel.

    One of Larry's most impressive performances though.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Quote Originally Posted by 10-8
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=B8r0lIyREPo

    Here's Larry's KO over Leon.

    Leon is the only swarmer that immediately comes to mind (excepting Mike Tyson) that Holmes fought. It should have been a great fight and it was shaping up to be one but Larry got the big shot in and Leon was done. Spinks was never good on the ropes and when hurt wouldn't move or clinch. He did duck under alot of Larry's shots during the final barrage but the corner threw in the towel.

    One of Larry's most impressive performances though.
    As it turned out, Leon simply lacked the size and durability to hang in there with a heavyweight who possessed all of the following: physical strength and superior size, punching power, and the speed to deliver the punches home on Leon.

    I didn't see Leon's fight against Bernardo Mercardo, but I'm guessing that Mercardo was simply too slow and musclebound to land his big bombs on the swarming Leon. Am I wrong? I cannot imagine Leon have withstood Mercardo's full power, so I assume Mercardo simply couldn't land cleanly.

    By the way, the Coetzee-Spinks fight is on YouTube as well.

    On the other hand, I think that a dedicated, driven, clean-living Leon Spinks might have been a dominant force at cruiserweight...at least until Qawi and Holyfield got to that division.

    Leon was a massive waste of talent...he could have been an awesome cruiserweight, possibly stepping up in weight sometimes to beat some, but not all, of the bigger guys at heavyweight.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Quote Originally Posted by kenmore
    I didn't see Leon's fight against Bernardo Mercardo, but I'm guessing that Mercardo was simply too slow and musclebound to land his big bombs on the swarming Leon. Am I wrong? I cannot imagine Leon have withstood Mercardo's full power, so I assume Mercardo simply couldn't land cleanly.
    Actually, from what I remember, Mercado landed some good right hands on Leon coming in and didn't budge him whose work rate was superior and just didn't stop coming. I don't believe Leon floored Mercado but was battering him pretty good when it was stopped.

    Seeing Leon taking some of Mercado's big shots as well as his work rate is what made me think Holmes-Spinks was an excellent match-up for an exciting fight. I remember Bob Arum picking Spinks to win.

    It was exciting while it lasted but too short. We hear alot of excuses for Mike Tyson's downfall, but I'll put Leon's destructive out of the ring antics against anybody's. I'm in agreement that Leon should have had a better pro career given his talent potential and heart.
    Last edited by 10-8; 09-13-2006 at 06:41 AM.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    If Leon Spinks turns up in shape and off the party routine I think he outworks and outlasts Bobick. Spinks would be in Bobicks face all night throwing everything he has at his fellow amateur star.

    The relentless Neon Leon wins on points in my book.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    Leon's work rate would be higher, but I don't see him having enough power to bother Duane. As a fairly novice pro, Spinks struggled with the strong and durable LeDoux, and from what I've read Bobick pretty much owned Scotty in both their fights. I'm going with Bobick by KO within 5-6.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    I like Leon. Just the way he beat Mercado. Bobick was similar to Mercado in size, and similarly had good power, but Mercado was a fairly easy Leon victory.

    I also don't think Bobick's chin is any better than Leon's.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    I'm with 10-8 here. Leon came after Mercado like Bernardo had banged his girlfriend. One direction: forward. One speed: as fast as he could. One goal: wipe the other guy out. Leon walked through plenty of good shots to keep pounding on Bernardo - far too many to ever be able to say Leon's chin, when he was ready for the fight, was delicate. A best-version of Leon was a formidable fighter, and if he had some motivation and was a little less upright, would have to be considered a good dark horse against most guys not names Frazier.

    And this is Duane Freakin' Bobick here folks. He wasn't exactly a classically skilled fighter. I'd take Leon to wear him down and knock him out somewhere just after the midway point.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    I had recently seen Duane Bobick embarrass future heavyweight great Larry Holmes in their 1972 amateur bout on YouTube. Then I had seen Bobick get destroyed by Ken Norton in one round(also on YouTube). This would be a pretty good fight, but Leon Spinks most likely would stop Bobick between 6-7 rounds. Yeah, I know it's hard for me to believe that I'm picking Leon Spinks when I'm not sure if he could beat Primo Carnera. Bobick looked like a future champ based on the amateur beating that he gave Holmes. I still can't believe how both Norton and Tate destroyed Bobick with so much ease.

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    Re: Duane Bobick vs. Leon Spinks, spring, 1978

    And that Knoetze knockout was pretty brutal as well.

    But I sure don't like using a guy like Mercado as a guage for much. That guy had the worst gastank of any top heavyweight I can think of and literally worked about 25 seconds a round. He is always going to have problems with that busy style of Spinks.

    In 78, I might go with a shaky vote for Bobick because this is an opponent he doesn't have to chase down and is physically stronger than if it becomes a phone booth type bout. I can recall not being too impressed w/ Bobick when he fought Sanford Houpe and thought man, this guy has a ton of fights and big record and still needs lots of work before facing top competition. No way he beats Holmes now. And even Spinks would've been a step up in class compared to the 3rd raters Bobick was fighting back then. But they weren't going to put him in there with an old lion like Lyle or Shavers and figured Norton was slipping and a victory over Norton probably would've got Bobick the title shot against Ali.

    And all we'd seen of Spinks at that time was what, Righetti and Ledoux? And those weren't A+ performances or results either. I think Spinks did a Buster Douglas performance in his title opportunity against Ali and was never going to be as prepared or any better than that night. He wouldn't have been that razor sharp against a Bobick, but then again he probably doesn't need to be either.

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