04.01.05 - By Umar ben-Ivan Lee Tableside in St. Louis - Cory Spinks, the worlds undisputed welterweight champion, was greeted by more than 2,500 fans in the seats of the Savis Center in his hometown of St. Louis along with members of the local press. Zab Judah was greeted by boos and taunts from the crowd and Don King was greeted with amusement..
King announced that on the February 5th Showtime card that the WBC Heavyweight eliminator between Monte Barrett and Owen Beck would support Spinks-Judah along with the IBF Cruiserweight championship bout between Kelvin Davis and O'Neil Bell. He also called on local St. Louis corporate-giant Anheuser-Busch to do its part in supporting the event.
The often raucous crowd had to endure more than an hour of highlight films before the parties entered. They were treated to a long King speech about the history of St. Louis, the greatness of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (who also talked to the crowd), and his support for the United States Armed forces.
The crowd had grown restless waiting on the event to begin. A number in the crowd to pass time began shooting-dice and placing bets on the fight. The crowd included some of the biggest hustlers in St. Louis along with members of the business and boxing community. A number of prominent St. Louis politicians joined the mayor of St. Louis at the event along with a number of police officers.
Judah told the crowd "I guarantee you that before I leave here you will respect me". Spinks responded by stating "I'm in the Lou and it aint gonna be nuthn but a Lou thing and Zab Judah is super but he's coming to my backyard". Trainer and manager of Spinks Kevin Cunningham also addressed the crowd and introduced hot young St. Louis prospects Devon and Vaughn Alexander who will appear on the card.