Tennessee:Maybe Cory Spinks really is big enough to fight Jermain Taylor.
Spinks, the IBF junior middleweight champion, needed a little extra time to slim down on Friday to make weight for Saturday's middleweight title fight with Taylor.
Spinks eventually weighed in at 159.8 pounds (72.5 kilograms), just below the limit of 160 pounds (72.6 kilograms). Taylor had weighed in about an hour earlier at 159.8 (72.5).
"It's ironic," said Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter. "But Cory Spinks does not have a small frame, and he went out of his way to bulk up to fight Jermain. I've seen this happen before."
The weigh-in was especially interesting because Taylor (26-0-1) has been criticized for fighting smaller opponents lately. His last fight was a December win over Kassim Ouma, who was also up from the junior middleweight ranks.
Spinks arrived with Taylor around 2:30 pm on Friday - the weigh-in was supposed to start at 2. Then DiBella announced that Spinks was about a pound (half a kilo) over the limit and would have two hours to lose that weight.
At about 3:30, DiBella announced that Spinks had weighed in at 159.8 (72.5). The challenger then said his weight wasn't a major concern.
"I guarantee he's still weaker than I am," said Spinks, who is 2 1/2 inches (6 centimeters) shorter than the 6-foot (1.83-meter) Taylor. "I'm strong. There ain't no monkey wrench in my plans."
Spinks (36-3) was asked what he did to lose that last bit of weight.
"Walked," he said, somewhat incredulously. "That's it."
Taylor was long gone by the time Spinks returned. Taylor is no longer judged on whether he wins or loses. He's been held to a higher standard since outpointing Bernard Hopkins in July 2005 to become middleweight champion.
He beat Hopkins in a second decision later that year, then escaped with a draw against Winky Wright in 2006. Taylor's win over Ouma was convincing, but it was in another decision.
Spinks, son of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, is hoping for an upset similar to his father's against Muhammad Ali.
Leon Spinks beat Ali in February 1978, five days before Cory was born. Leon Spinks will be in his son's corner on Saturday.
"It's going to be great," Cory Spinks said. "It's going to give me that extra oomph, so expect for me to be real strong. Jermain was saying some fighters ain't got that dog in them. To me it's about how you came up. I've got that dog in me. It's just something I was born with."
Taylor and Spinks have known each other since they were amateur teammates, but going head-to-head will be a new experience.
"When we get in that ring, it's all business," Spinks said.
Taylor agreed with that.
"I plan on going in there and taking care of business," Taylor said. "Cory knows that. I'm not playing with him."