Spinks to fight Bundrage in St. Louis
Junior middleweight titlist Cory Spinks, who has not fought in more than a year, will make his mandatory title defense against Cornelius Bundrage on June 12.
Spinks will fight in his native St. Louis for the fifth time in his last seven fights when he faces the former star of "The Contender" reality series at the 10,600-seat Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University.
"My title is not leaving St. Louis," Spinks said Wednesday at a news conference announcing the fight. "I guarantee I will be undefeated for the rest of my career. When I get done with Bundrage, I'll fight anyone: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, Shane Mosley -- you name it, I'm ready."
Spinks, the former undisputed welterweight champ and son of former heavyweight champ Leon Spinks, had been scheduled to meet Bundrage on March 26 in Las Vegas on an ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" card. However, the card was canceled a week before the fight because of promoter Don King's issues with the main event, a vacant cruiserweight title bout between Steve Cunningham and Matt Godfrey.
King was able to reschedule Spinks-Bundrage at Chaifetz Arena, which will be hosting a boxing card for the first time since it opened in 2008. No TV plans were announced, but King spokesman Alan Hopper said King is considering offering it on his Web site, www.donkingtv.com, as he has done with other cards.
Spinks (37-5, 11 KOs), who will be fighting for the first time since he claimed a vacant 154-pound belt by outpointing St. Louis rival Deandre Latimore on a split decision in April 2009, has been training in Vero Beach with new trainer Buddy McGirt, the former two-time world champion.
"It's been great being trained by future Hall of Famer Buddy McGirt. It was time for me to move on to a new trainer and I'm very happy about it," said Spinks, who parted ways with longtime trainer and manager Kevin Cunningham. "You will see the best of the old Cory Spinks and the best of the new. I guarantee the boxing fans of St. Louis that I'm going to put on a spectacular show."
Said McGirt, "I don't have a lot of work to do with Cory. He has lots of talent and my job is to remind him of that. His natural abilities are such that if he is performing at his best, he's tough to beat. My goal is to get him to that top tier."
Bundrage (29-4, 17 KOs), of Detroit, gained fame during the 2006 season of "The Contender" but scored his most significant victory in 2008 when he won a unanimous decision against former titleholder Kassim Ouma.
Bundrage's last bout in June, a title eliminator against Yuri Foreman, ended in a three-round no decision after Foreman was badly cut by an accidental head butt. Rather than seek a rematch, Foreman went in another direction and claimed one of the belts from Daniel Santos last fall. With Foreman opting for another fight, Bundrage, who is trained by Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward, became Spinks' mandatory challenger.
Spinks said he will make the fight a more crowd-pleasing bout than he typically puts on -- he's more of a hit-and-run fighter with superior defensive skills than a slugger.
"I'm going to attack more. I'm going to beat him up a little bit," Spinks said. "You'll see a much meaner Cory Spinks. Cornelius 'K9' Bundrage has sniffed out the wrong guy. I'm a bomb and it's going to explode on June 12."
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.
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