38-year-old Verno Phillips (42-10-1, 21 KOs) is a world champion for the third time after a split decision win over reigning IBF junior middleweight champion Cory Spinks (36-5, 11 KOs) on Thursday night before 8,874 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. After a close and technical fight, two judges favored Phillips' power shots (116-112, 115-113) while one preferred the movement and handspeed of Spinks (115-113). Phillips, who entered the bout as a 6:1 underdog, stated afterward, "I hit more with my left. They told me not to reach in. He is hard to adapt to. He is sneaky. You lean in, he will hit you with a one-two. I just relied on my experience. I did my best and I am still in the top 10. I had harder shots. I felt like his people were booing him because they felt he didn’t bring it." A disappointed Spinks stated, "I felt good, just a little rusty that’s all. Verno fought a good fight. He came in to do a job, but I feel I did what I came to do. I am upset with myself. I let myself down."