Over the weekend Boxingtalk.com spoke with former undisputed welterweight champ, Cory "The Next Generation" Spinks. In this must read exclusive interview, Spinks provides Boxingtalk readers with further details on his plans to move up to junior middleweight, which was reported exclusively by Boxingtalk.com early last week.
Before we discussed his future plans, Spinks spoke on the first undisputable loss of his career, "Words can't explain the disappointment I felt right after the fight. I felt like I let myself and the City of St. Louis down. But I'm just happy to have great people around me and a great town behind me. All the love we've received from the city in the past week has been wonderful, but people from the S-T-L are like me, we stay Lou, through and through. Their support has been tremendous and it's just made easier to deal with."
Every time a welterweight champion of the world loses, it seems that the burden of making 147 pounds suddenly becomes too much to bear. Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Vernon Forrest and Ricardo Mayorga each moved up to junior middleweight after losing their titles. Add Cory Spinks to that list, only don't try to compare his blueprint to anyone else's.
Kevin Cunningham, Spinks manager and trainer barked at Boxingtalk, "We don't care about what De La Hoya, Mosley, Forrest and Mayorga did, Cory's moving up because he can't make welterweight and be at his best any more. You'll never see Cory at welterweight ever again! I mean, Cory won the National Golden Gloves and the US Championships as a welterweight in 1997. We ain't making this shit up."
Spinks concurred with his longtime manager and trainer without unleashing any naughty four letter words, "It's a real struggle to make the weight, I wasn't at my best and I fought really flat because of it. I'll never fight at weltweright again. I'm not trying to take anything away from Zab Judah, I've always said he was a great fighter and one of the best out thurr and that's why we fought him when none of the other so called best wanted to fight, so I wish him the best and I hope he holds on to those belts as long I did.
Spinks continued, "But from here on out, I need to make sure I got that thang in me when I'm in there. I'm looking forward to junior middleweight, I think I'll have some big advantages up thurr and right now we feel that the best place for me to be is 154."
Spinks did acknowledge that had he been victorious over Judah, he would have "killed myself once more" to fight Oscar De La Hoya. But the fight never seemed to realisitic to Spinks anyway, "because I don't think Oscar would have ever wanted to box with me."
By Team Spinks own admission, Don King Productions "has proven time and time again that he's the best promoter in the world."
Before DKP signed Spinks, he was at the very bottom of Bob Arum's totem pole at Top Rank. "Bob had no clue how to promote Cory," says Cunningham. "But with Don, working together has worked so far and we expect nothing but more of the same at junior middleweight."
It's no secret that Don King Productions has a plethora of junior middleweights including, undefeated WBA champion Travis Simms, Rhosii Wells, Alejandro Garcia, Bronco McKart, Santiago Samiengo, Eric Mitchell and particularly, former welterweight king, Ricardo Mayorga, with whom Spinks shares some history.
We also hear rumblings that WBC junior middleweight champion Francisco Javier Castillejo could be signing with DKP in the coming months as well. Then there's also IBF champion Kassim Ouma and another former welterweight king, Vernon Forrest.
On the surface, Spinks' plan is simple. He's looking to get a comeback win in his junior middleweight debut, and then fight for world title.
The Savvis Center, which was filled to capacity on February 5 is logically very interested in hosting Spinks' next couple of fights.
After speaking with both Spinks and Cunningham several things have become pefectly clear. After Spinks gets his feet wet at junior middleweight, he wants a rematch with Ricardo Mayorga. Needless to say, Spinks and Cunningham would like to see Cory's next few fights take place at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, where Spinks has proven to be a large draw at the box-office.
Shorlty after Spinks loss to Judah, Savvis Center GM Dennis Petrullo told Boxingtalk.com, "We're going to bring Cory back. He's a great champion and we're looking forward to hosting another one of his fights."
On December 13, 2003 Cory Spinks became the undisputed welterweight champion of the world by outboxing, then WBA/WBC welterweight champion Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga to unify the division for the first time in nearly twenty years.
Heading to into his fight with Spinks, Mayorga was on the verge of becoming 2003 Fighter Of The Year and he already had agreed in principle to face then junior middleweight king "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
Following his eye-opening performances against 2002 fighter of the year Vernon Forrest on HBO, Mayorga was a big favorite over Spinks, who captured his championship against Michele Piccrillo in Italy in a bout that was never shown on American TV.
Few outside of Team Spinks gave the feather fisted southpaw boxer a chance against the ferocious Mayorga. Mayorga was supposed to knock Spinks out, and quick. I remember some pundits even compared Mayorga-Spinks to Tyson-Spinks since both fights took place in Atlantic City, New Jersey and both fights were supposed to be over in ninety seconds.
Spinks looked like "El Matador" against Mayorga. He boxed him brilliantly, he didn't run, and he circled the dangerous puncher all night long, consistently beating Mayorga to the punch while making him miss big.
But that was then and this is now. After getting knocked out by a long time junior welterweight, many will wonder if Spinks can deal with junior middleweight power?
"Power is uselss if you can't use it. The question you should be asking me is, how will any junior middleweight deal with Cory's speed and skills. Everyone knows Cory wasn't at his best against Zab. When Cory's at his best, I don't see anybody at junior middleweight that can overpower us," said Cunningham.
"I'm ready to answer all of those questions in the ring. Mayorga's never been one to turn down a fight, people know he could punch. But after I box his socks off again I don't want to hear about no junior middleweight's power man, people will know that what happened the first time was no fluke."
Spinks goal at junior middleweight is simple.
"I want to be undisputed again."
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