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Spina Decisions Whittom

Light heavyweight Joe Spina (22-1-1, 15 KOs) won an exciting six-round split decision over Canadian David Whittom (10-6-1, 6 KOs) on Friday night at the Twin River Event Center, in Lincoln, Rhode Island on Friday night. The final judges’ scores were 58-56, 57-56 for Spina and 56-57 for Whittom. From appearances, the fight appeared to be a draw as neither fighter did enough to distinguish themselves as the clear winner. Spina, 30, was the favored fighter going into the bout as Whittom has lost five of his last nine fights leading up to the fight. Moreover, Whittom has also quickly taken off 20 lbs after competing against heavyweight Darrell Flint in March.

Whittom, 29, however, surprised everyone in the 1st round as he landed powerful straight right hands repeatedly though Spina’s open guard. It was mad much easier than it should have been in that Spina was throwing a high number of wide shots, leaving himself open much of the time. Instead of slowing down his punch rate or straightening out his shots, Spina continued with his wide shots for the entire round and paid for it over and over again with Whittom tagging him with big rights. Based on the first round, I’d have thought that Whittom was the better fighter by far than Spina.

In the second round, Whittom continued landing big right hands, catching Spina while he was in the motion of punching. The round easily appeared to be going Whittom’s way until he was hurt with a left-right combination in the final 30 seconds of the round. The punches looked like nothing, and perhaps they were, but Whittom’s chin made it seem like he was hit with a devastating shot. To his credit, Whittom stayed up, but he was hit with a blizzard of punches from Spina, who put everything he had into scoring a quick knockout.

Whittom, however, started in once again with pelting Spina with big right hands in the third, showing no worse for the wear from being hurt in the previous round. Indeed, Whittom landed a high number of monstrous right hands and powerful jabs which snapped Spina’s head often in the round. It looked like only a matter of time before Whittom scored a knockout because Spina was getting hit far too much for his own good and was showing no ability to get out of the way of the punches or block them in any way.

Though he was still landing his own shots, but they weren’t having nearly the same effect on Whittom as his punches were having on him. Spina appeared to be largely pushing his punches, throwing just to throw and tiring himself out in the process. He was receiving a lot of encouragement from his corner to take the fight to Whittom, and based on this, it seemed more like a tough man contest than a professional boxing match. There was little strategy or finesse involved as Spina was essentially trying to outslug the limited Whittom.

In the 4th round, after a taking a series of right hands from Whittom, Spina suddenly erupted with a perfect left-right combination that dropped Whittom to the canvas. He immediately got up, with his right corner of his eye bleeding badly. The doctor quickly examined the cut and deemed that it wasn’t a threat to the fight, thus allowing the fight to continue. Spina then gamely attempted to finish off Whittom, but found that his power wasn’t enough to get rid of him. Indeed, Spina is marginal puncher, and has to win his fights by volume punching rather than stopping his foes. Spina’s high knockout rate appears to be a product of his C-class opposition rather than any evidence of power. As such, he wasn’t able to finish off Whittom who had no problem taking Spina’s shot for the remainder of the round.

In the sixth round, both fighters went toe-to-toe as both tried to take each other out with shots to the head. As usual, the fight was fought at close quarters, with each fighter stifling his own power in the process. Whittom, like in the other rounds, landed by far the bigger shots in the round, whereas Spina landed the high number of connects. It was impossible to tell who the winner of the round was, for neither fighter established himself as the clear winner in the round. Whittom landed some nice right hand head shots, while Spina landed a lot of weak punches to the head.

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