Thursday, 23 February 2012

My interview with Cory Spinks - February 2012

Cory Spinks: “I’ll fight anyone at light middleweight”.

Written by Ryan Kinzett    Monday, 20 February 2012 17:48 You recently beat Sechew Powell in an IBF title eliminator. Is a fight with IBF champion Cornelius Bundrage up next for you? 

Cory Spinks:  Hopefully it is but if it isn’t I’m going to stay busy. I don’t know what the IBF will decide to do. I’m just waiting to hear what my promoter and manager say. I just have to stay in shape and be ready. We were looking to fight Alvarez on the undercard of Mayweather-Cotto but that didn’t happen so we’re looking at the alternatives. Guys just don’t want to fight me. You know, I was supposed to be finished but I know I’m not. I just want to fight the best and show the World why I’m one of the best fighters out there. You fought Cornelius Bundrage in 2010 in a bout which you lost. What went wrong that night? Do you feel you can avenge that loss in a rematch? 

Cory Spinks: Of course. I know what went wrong with me. I got Crohns and my Crohns had flared up a week before the fight. I shouldn’t have even fought the fight. I didn’t have the right team around me. I tried to heal before the fight but my joints were still sore and I wasn’t in the right condition for the fight. I couldn’t move properly, I couldn’t punch properly; I couldn’t correct it in the ring. I’m not taking anything away from Cornelius Bundrage, he came to do what he had to do. But that wasn’t the real me in there. You’ve only lost twice by stoppage. Did that have anything to do with your illness?

Cory Spinks: Yeah, the only two times that’s happened is because of my Crohns. The second Zab Judah fight was when I first found out what I had. In camp before the fight I was in hospital all the time. I guess it’s just my ability that kept me in those fights because either fight could have been over in the first round. My ability kept me in there. They were the only times I’ve lost by stoppage but now I got my Crohns under control. It doesn’t bother me anymore, I got a good team and it’s a lot more positive. I don’t plan on losing again. Light middleweight is one of the top divisions in the World right now. Do you feel it’s possible for you to unify the division like you did at welterweight? 

Cory Spinks: Yes, that’s one of my goals. Once you’ve achieved something like that at one weight class, you can’t settle for less. I can become World champion again but it won’t be enough because I’ve been undisputed champion before at welterweight. When you made your pro debut did you feel any added pressure due to the fact you come from a legendary boxing family? 

Cory Spinks: Oh yeah, I was so nervous! There are so many differences when you turn pro. The gloves are much smaller and you don’t have the headgear. But I went out there and I was throwing a hundred punches a round. I adjusted as a pro though, slowed it down and became a good professional. It must be very tough fighting in your father’s shadow considering what he accomplished?

Cory Spinks: No, not really. You know I love that guy and what he accomplished. It did shine a light on me though to see if I could accomplish as much and I feel I have. I’m blessed and grateful to be mentioned in the same sentence as my Dad and my Uncle. Having both a Father and an uncle who both won Gold Medals at the Olympics, many expected you to possibly do the same. How disappointing was it not making the U.S. Olympic Team in 2000, especially since you'd already beaten Dante Craig, the eventual representative in Sydney?

Cory Spinks: To be honest right after I beat Dante Craig, I turned pro. If I had stayed amateur longer I’m sure I would have made it to the Olympics. I’m glad I turned pro when I did because I might not have accomplished what I have done if I’d waited any longer to turn pro. It’s tough enough winning one World title, let alone the amount I have. I’m glad Top Rank came after me when they did. Your older brother was also an accomplished amateur boxer before he was tragically killed. Do you ever wonder what it would've been like to have both been professionals together or does it still hurt too much to even think about? 

Cory Spinks: I think about it all the time. My brother taught me a lot. He taught me how to dance and everything. There were three of us: my brother Leon, my brother Darryl and me. I just imagine if we had all been pro at the same time. I miss him greatly. You have fought many great boxers during your career. Which was your biggest victory in your opinion?

Cory Spinks: Beating Ricardo Mayorga to become undisputed welterweight champion was my greatest accomplishment. But I fought a lot of tough fighters. Winning the IBF title was tough too. If you could have fought any boxer during your career, who would it have been? 

Cory Spinks: I’d say Floyd Mayweather. I think I’d have beaten him too. My skills are superb and I know how to adjust in the ring. In the mid 2000s, there was talk of a fight happening between you and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Was that fight ever close to being signed or was it just media talk? 

Cory Spinks: Yeah it was close. I signed the contract! I flew to New York, met Don King there and signed the contract. After the second Zab Judah fight, we started to hype it up at the press conference after the fight. I thought it was going to happen. But Floyd signed to fight Baldomir. I couldn’t believe it. I’m not taking anything away from Floyd but he picks his opponents. Do you think a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr could happen now at 154lbs considering you're in a favourable position whilst Mayweather fights Cotto next at 154lbs? Would you like to fight the winner of that fight? 

Cory Spinks: I’m hoping I can. I’ll fight any of those guys. I don’t care if I fight Floyd, Cotto, Pacquiao, Alvarez or anybody else because I know I have the same ability as any of those guys, even more so. I’m in phenomenal shape and I don’t think anybody can beat me. I just want the opportunity to get on the biggest stage to show the World Cory Spinks hasn’t gone anywhere. Who do you think will win between Mayweather and Cotto?

Cory Spinks: I think it will be tougher than a lot of people think. I really think we might see an upset. Cotto is a bigger guy so you never know. Floyd will use his skills and pot shot Cotto but Cotto is strong. Cotto will do better against Floyd than he did against Pacquiao in my opinion. Would you be interested in a Super 6 tournament at the weight?

Cory Spinks: I would love that! I hope they can set up a tournament like that. I think it would be more exciting than the first Super 6. Even without a guy like Mayweather in it, the tournament would be loaded. You won the light middleweight title against Roman Karmazin in a really tough contest in 2006. You managed to pull off a majority decision win. Had the fight not taken place in St. Louis in front of your hometown fans do you think you'd have still been able to win? 

Cory Spinks: Yes, of course. I outboxed him and I think the result would have been the same if I’d fought him elsewhere. He was a tough guy, nobody wanted to fight him at that time and it was my first fight at 154lbs. I’m not afraid to fight anyone. Was there ever a time when you thought about not working with Kevin Cunningham, especially after your success meant some of the more famous trainers would almost surely be interested in working with you?

Cory Spinks: I wasn’t, but towards the end, things changed and I started to see shadiness and wanted to get away. I didn’t fight during the amateurs with him. He didn’t give me my skills. I felt it was time to part ways. I’m now with Anthony Ham and things are going very well. In 2007, you made an unsuccessful attempt at winning the WBC and WBO middleweight titles from Jermain Taylor. Do you feel as though a step up in weight again could be on the cards or are you happy at light middleweight? 

Cory Spinks: I’m happy at light middleweight. The Jermain fight was just an opportunity which came around at the right time. I didn’t have anyone huge to fight at the time and neither did he. So I took the challenge and I thought I did enough to win. You've just turned 34 years old and have accomplished more than most boxers have. Do you feel your time as a boxer is coming to an end or do you feel as fit as ever?

Cory Spinks: I feel fine. I’m very fit and still feel like a young man. I don’t want to be boxing for my whole life though. I still have some more things I want to accomplish. I haven’t been in too many wars. I live by the rules of hit and not get hit. Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Cory Spinks: I’d like to just thank my fans and let them know I’m still here and expect to see me working hard and winning and hopefully I can get some big fights soon.

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