The boxing writers at make their picks for Saturday night's big fight – Cory Spinks vs. Zab Judah

There's no reason to believe the rematch will be any different than the original. In an otherwise even fight, you have to go with the bigger, stronger fighter – which is Spinks. And a good big fighter always beats a good little fighter. Unless, of course, Spinks' shaky chin cracks. Spinks by split decision.
Matt Aguilar

Cory Spinks will take what he learned in the first fight and make the needed adjustments to beat Zab Judah in their rematch. I always thought Zab was a bit overrated. Cory is a thinking man’s fighter. He will find a way to win. I say Cory by a unanimous verdict.
Jim Amato

The Spinks Jinx continues. Zab does not have enough to take down the champ in his hometown. Spinks by decision, not as close this time.
Steve Argeris

I think Zab has a lot of confidence. When he dropped Spinks – he dropped him. And he hurt him. There is nothing like a solid knockdown to give you the confidence you need for a rematch. No matter what Spinks says, he’s got to be worried. What I like about Judah in this fight is that he can punch, but he can box too. The fighters are equal in terms of hand speed. I think if the fight goes the distance, because it is in St. Louis, Zab will have a hard time getting the decision. But I don't think it will get that far. My pick is Judah by late round knockout.
“Irish” Bobby Cassidy

Judah and Spinks are very similar. Both are southpaws, both have very quick hands and both are talented boxers. The difference is that Judah is the harder hitter. Plus, for the rematch, he'll be more comfortable at 147. I pick Judah by decision.
Robert Cassidy

The moment the fight ended, the reaction around the boxing world seemed to be “Thirty more seconds, and Zab finishes him off.” My thinking was that had he not taken 3½ rounds to get going, then it doesn’t come down to a last minute knockdown still not being enough. He insists that he won’t make that same mistake twice, but a greater problem w/ him as of late is his belief that he has enough one-punch power to turn the tide and possibly even end matters whenever he wants. In my opinion, this will be the difference in the fight; Zab will start stronger, but he’ll also be looking to end matters earlier. Spinks is steady, and you pretty much know what he brings to the table. It’s not even about what Cory will do (besides not get as careless as he did at the end of the first fight); it will come down to what Zab does not do. And that will once again be the difference between becoming undisputed champ and settling for second place. Spinks by UD.
Jake Donovan

I’d like to believe Team Judah learned something in the first fight with Cory Spinks, but I have my doubts. If Zab starts quick and avoids showboating this time around, he’ll at the very least make a fight of it. We’re a long way from 15-round championship fights. Judah will have to get out of the gate fast and get to work immediately. But Spinks will be as hard to catch as ever. Spinks by split decision.
Robert Ecksel

Spinks by decision again. If nothing else, the confidence factor should play a role in the outcome. Spinks won the first fight and though it was close, he's got to believe he'll do even better the second time around. And being champ always seems to make a fighter better.
Rick Folstad

Reflecting on rounds 1 through 12, it is tempting to lean towards Zab Judah in the rematch. Judah had Spinks all but out on his feet at the end of round 12, but how much should be made of this? Zab Judah has not proven he has the proper match-day temperament on the big stage. Until he proves otherwise, it is hard to ignore Spinks’ ability to rise to the occasion. Judah’s edge in power notwithstanding, Spinks finds a way to navigate the choppy waters once again while boxing his way to a decision victory. Cory Spinks by UD.
Chris Gielty

While Judah made it interesting late in their first fight, I don't see Cory Spinks making the same mistake this time. Spinks will stay focused and maintain his awesome boxing skills which have made him a champion – and will keep him a champion in Spinks/Judah II. Cory Spinks beats Zab Judah via 12-round unanimous decision.
Mike Indri

Cory Spinks has proved himself the class of the division until proven otherwise. Why should one believe that Judah's last round surge will become a template for a total reversal of Spinks' commanding performance? One should try to differentiate speed from effectiveness and by that reckoning, Spinks boxing ability trumps Judah's raw speed. And though Judah's hungry, Spinks remains fully committed; the all important mental edge goes to Spinks. Spinks UD12 Judah.
Patrick Kehoe

With the hometown crowd behind him there's little reason to suppose Spinks won't fare at least as well as he did the first time around. Spinks by decision.
George Kimball

Much like the first bout, Spinks should be better, faster, stronger than Judah and box his way to another decision victory. For a change, I actually believe what Judah is saying, that he will come out and try to take the fight to Spinks. Still, that doesn't mean it will work – and it won't. I don't see Judah as strong at 147 and his tendency to give away a round or two will burn him again. Spinks has the home crowd in his favor and should be able to use Zab's aggression against him. A few good rounds and maybe a flash knockdown keep Judah in the fight but he comes up short . . . again. Spinks SD 12 Judah.
Joey Knish

A controversial draw. Judah comes out trying to KO Spinks early – and nearly does it as Spinks gets up off the floor in the early rounds. Spinks gets back on his game plan halfway through the fight. Like last time, Judah assets himself in the final round. The decision should go to Judah, but Spinks keeps his title by majority draw.
Marc Lichtenfeld

This fight will most likely go the distance. Judah is a big underachiever in my book. This is probably his best and last chance to change his perception as being all show without much go. I anticipate Judah will fight more aggressive this time, he has to. Spinks just needs to be himself and box and counter Judah. I have a feeling the scoring will be weighed in favor of Judah resulting in him getting the nod in the close rounds. Judah by decision.
Frank Lotierzo

Unless Spinks doesn’t handle the big moment in his hometown well, which can happen, it should give him a solid edge in the rematch. Probably a little easier this time. Spinks by decision.
David Mayo

Spinks is a cool cat who shouldn't fall for any of Judah's nonsensical trash talk. He beat him once, and there's no reason for me to believe he won't beat him again. Spinks W 12.
Robert Mladinich

Judah can press more, Spinks can't be much cuter can he? However, Spinks cant just run, he has to trade and earn respect at some stage, possibly early, Judah has to capitalize and win any of these exchanges by adding more devil and substance to his work. The early rounds will be crucial in setting the tone, if Judah doesn't really get in Spinks' face, his fate is sealed. Spinks will counter, peck and poke to the finish line. Judah has to get Spinks out of that comfort zone for prolonged periods where his heavier hands and competitive hand speed should give him the edge. But everyone keeps underestimating Spinks. I'm trying not to. Another squeaky one, with possibly another knockdown, but I think Cory pulls it out. Spinks clear but close UD.
David Payne

Max Kellerman says that Zab Judah is spectacular but flawed. Flawed? The last time he fought Corey Spinks, Judah hung around for three or four rounds wondering why he was fighting a junior middleweight. Blame it on the morons that thought boxers should weigh in the day before a fight, which means that except for the Whales, there has not been an honest title fight since. The day before their match, Judah's first as a welterweight, he weighed in at 146; Spinks weighed 147. When the opening bell rang the following night, Judah had gained a pound; Spinks had put on nearly 10. By the time Judah figured out the big guy in front on him was really Spinks, almost half the fight was over. Still, he almost won; it could have been ruled a draw. Looking for Judah to come out of the blocks a lot quicker, I favor him this time by decision.
Pat Putnam

Judah is one of the most naturally talented fighters today, but simply hasn't matched his potential with a breakthrough performance. This is a must win fight for him. To this point, Cory Spinks has proved many of the critics wrong, and has developed his potential admirably. He can adjust to different styles, and is cool under fire. Whereas Judah is a reactive fighter, Spinks is cerebral. Expect Spinks to overcome to shaky moments to carve out a close decision.
Greg Smith

Judah has had his difficulties with southpaws in the recent past (Spinks 1 and Corley), which shows that he can be easily frustrated, and now he finds himself fighting in Cory’s backyard. It adds up to another twelve-round duke for Spinks in a fight that only a chess fan could love.
Scott Yaniga

Cory Spinks vs. Zab Judah is on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005. In the co-feature, Owen “What The Heck” Beck faces Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett in a 12-round heavyweight elimination bout. SHOWTIME will televise the doubleheader at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).