Phillips to challenge Spinks for IBF strap


Phillips to challenge Spinks for IBF strap

PRESS RELEASE: Negotiations are ongoing for Verno Phillips to challenge IBF jr. middleweight world champion Cory Spinks in Spinks’s next fight. The IBF said in a letter that Spinks’ next mandatory title defense is due by November 3, and No. 3 ranked Phillips is the leading available contender. The date and site of the fight is still to be determined.


Verno is now 41-11-1 with 21 knockouts. The former IBF and WBO jr. middleweight world champion, he won the WBO jr. middleweight world title in October, 1993, and made four successful defenses before losing the title in November, 1995. He won the IBF jr. middleweight world title in June, 2004, and lost it in his first defense the following October.


He has now won three fights in a row. After his last fight, a 10 round unanimous decision against Eddie Sanchez in February, Dan Rafael wrote on, “Former titlist Phillips keeps on ticking, even at 37. He pounded out a clear decision against spoiler Sanchez in the ‘Friday Night Fights’ main event on ESPN2. It was the third win in a row for Phillips following a two-fight losing streak to Kassim Ouma (in a title bout) and Ike Quartey. Phillips keeps hanging around and we suspect someone will give him a shot at a bigger fight before he is through. After all the excellent fights he's given us over the years, he deserves that.”


After Verno’s TKO win against Teddy Reid in August, 2006, reported from ringside, “The former two-time world champion, and 20-year veteran of the sport, showed few signs of slowing down as he did a little bit of boxing, a little bit of brawling, and mainly a whole lot of hitting in recording a twelfth-round stoppage...”


Verno’s last loss was by a very close and controversial decision against former WBA welterweight world champion Ike Quartey in June, 2005.


The controversy came in the ninth round when Verno floored Quartey for the second time - it  appeared to be a clear knockdown, but the referee ruled it as a slip. If it had been scored as a knockdown, the fight would have been a draw.


A pro since 1988, Verno fought top opposition throughout the 1990s and scored several impressive wins. He returned to the ring in June, 2000, after almost 2 ½ years off and has consistently shown that he is still at the top of his game.


He has fought former world champions Ike Quartey (L10), Kassim Ouma twice (L12, L10), Bronco McKart (W10), Julian Jackson (KO9) and Lupe Aquino (TKO7), Gianfranco Rosi twice (W12, L12), and Julio Cesar Vazquez (WDQ6).