Cory Spinks overcame a first-round knockdown to outpoint Deandre Latimore on Friday night and win the vacant IBF junior middleweight title.
Spinks (37-5) overcame a cut above his left eye to win the hard-fought split decision between two St. Louis natives. Two judges split their scorecards 115-112, while the third gave a 114-113 edge to the former undisputed welterweight champion.
The 23-year-old Latimore (19-2) floored Spinks a minute and a half into the bout. But the 31-year-old veteran rallied in the middle of the fight, scoring consistently with a series of combinations and body blows.
Spinks used his experience down the stretch the hold off a tiring Latimore. Spinks won the 12th round all three judges cards.