As newly crowned world light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks prepared to return home to Philadelphia today, former World Boxing Council light heavyweight titlist Dwight Braxton was ready to prepare for a rematch in the wake of Spinks' unanimous 15-round decision over Braxton here last night.
Spinks now joins middleweight champion Marvin Hagler as the second fighter to hold both the World Boxing Association and the WBC titles, but Braxton's camp said this morning that he will seek a rematch as soon as possible, and Spinks' aides said he'll probably get it.
"Dwight is more confident now than ever that he can beat Spinks," said Braxton's manager, Rock Newman, of Washington, D.C. "We'll be back to get the title. It was a close fight, and Dwight was only 80 percent at best."
Newman added Braxton had been suffering from a head cold for 10 days affected his training.
Before Spinks fights Braxton again, however, he must defend his title against Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, the No. 1 ranked contender in the WBA and WBC, whom he defeated in 15 rounds in Las Vegas July 18, 1981 to win the WBA title.
Sprinks' aide Booker Griffin said Spinks is considering moving up to the heavyweight division but that he would probably fight Mustafa before making any such move. Spinks is the younger brother of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks.
Griffin also said Spinks would probably fight Braxton after Mustafa if there is enough public interest in that match.
In last night's fight, a record for light heavyweights with each boxer earning a reported $2.1 million, Spinks used his height advantage, 6-foot-2 1/2 to 5-6 3/4, to pound Braxton's head and forehead with hundreds of left and right jabs to keep him at a distance.
Never during the full 15 rounds did Spinks appear to be in any serious trouble, and he boasted at his postfight press conference that "I was in control of the fight the whole night long. I beat him with my jabs."
Braxton, frustrated and off balance by being unable to get closer to Spinks, chased his opponent from one side of the ring to the other, but he wasn't able to penetrate Spinks' defense until the later rounds. Towards the end of the fight Braxton did get close enough to punish his opponent with volleys of punches.