Re: What if Gerry Cooney had somehow gotten lucky against Spinks?
I think I've told this story here before, but I was in the Navy and out at sea when Spinks-Cooney happened. After the fight the rumor around the ship (who knows how these things get started!) was that Cooney had KO'd Spinks in the second and had broken his jaw severely in the process. So for several hours that was my reality. I felt really sorry for Spinks but just knew he shouldn't have been in the ring with a big hard-hitting guy like Cooney. Now, imagine my surprise when the real result came through...
Hindsight is 20/20, but the above result isn't too far-fetched considering that the only loss he'd suffered was the gallant effort against Holmes, had knocked almost everyone else out impressively, and that Spinks would be crushed in a similar manner against Tyson a year later.
Had Cooney won like that, Tyson-Cooney would've been enormous. Perhaps Cooney's confidence would have risen (was he over-confident against Spinks, or was he just too messed up to train properly?) and he would've trained well and gone in ready, or perhaps his existing emotional problems would've led to cancellations and lack of confidence going in. Either way, I think, a 1988 Tyson would've gotten Cooney out of there within three rounds.