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Expect a full house in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Cory Spinks has turned out to be a much bigger
drawing card in his hometown than promoters envisioned.
Savvis Center general manager Dennis Petrullo said he'd have
been happy with a crowd of 14,000 or 15,000 for Spinks'
welterweight title rematch against Zab Judah on Saturday night.
Instead, all 20,655 tickets have been sold.
"That's the greatest thing any promoter could hope for,"
promoter Don King said Thursday. "If the light ain't shining in
St. Louis, it ain't shining nowhere."
Spinks, son of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, grew up
on St. Louis' rough north side and still lives in suburban St.
Charles. Spinks and his trainer, Dennis Cunningham, have long
wanted a fight in the city.
Spinks wore a Redd Foxx T-shirt, honoring another St. Louis-born
personality, at the news conference.
"It's just a blessing to finally come here and defend my
title," Spinks said. "I'd like to thank Zab for taking this
risk."
Spinks, who decisioned Judah in April in Las Vegas, said he'll
win the battle of left-handers again. Spinks is 34-2 with 11
knockouts; Judah, who has won two fights since the loss to Spinks,
is 32-2 with 23 knockouts and is a former junior welterweight
champion.
"I'm not the champion for nothing. I'm not ready to lose my
belt," Spinks said. "I've trained very hard and I'm ready to go
in there and do my thing."
This came after some tough talk from Judah, who knocked down
Spinks in the 12th and final round of the first meeting in Las
Vegas. In typical overstatement, King characterized Judah, of New
York, as an imposing invader along the likes of Genghis Khan,
Alexander the Great and Darth Vadar.
"This is the Show-Me State and I'm coming to show you I am the
best pound-for-pound fighter," Judah said. "When I'm at my 'A'
game, there's nothing you can do to touch me or stop me. Cory, he
had his reign. It's a new year and it's time for a change."
The fighters on the undercard, heavyweights Monte "Two Gunz"
Barrett and Owen "What the Heck" Beck, were perhaps even more
entertaining at Thursday's news conference. Barrett, 30-3 with 16
knockouts, is ranked No. 3 in the WBC; Beck is 24-0 with 18
knockouts.
"I'm going to let him live in the glory, because it's going to
be his last," Barrett said. "I'm going to put Beck to sleep so we
can go on to bigger and better things."
Barrett then yammered from the microphone in front of his seat
on the dais while Beck had his turn at the podium.
"I'm not here to talk junk," Beck said. "I'm just going to
break it down."