By Keith Idec
Cornelius Bundrage ridiculed Cory Spinks’ excuse for Spinks’ poor performance in their IBF junior middleweight title fight nearly two years ago.
Spinks said this week that he was sick during training camp prior to their August 2010 fight in St. Louis, a bout Bundrage dominated before stopping Spinks in the fifth round to take Spinks’ IBF 154-pound championship. Bundrage considers Spinks’ justification for that lopsided loss as a convenient way of convincing himself that Spinks simply didn’t lose to a better fighter as they prepare to go at it again Saturday night in Indio, Calif. (9 p.m. EDT/PDT; Showtime).
“That’s what he’s doing to try to boost himself up,” Bundrage said. “He got the [first] fight postponed two or three times. I’ve gone into fights with injuries. As a fighter you have to go in there and fight, whether your ankle is broken or whatever it is. When you sign a contract, you can’t talk about what happened, why you didn’t do this or do that. This is the real game. We’re soldiers and we have to go out there and fight. That’s what we do.”
The 39-year-old Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t taken a second Spinks fight lightly, despite how easily Bundrage beat him in their first fight.
The chiseled champion nicknamed “K9” is 2-0 in rematches during his 17-year career, including a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Sechew Powell in his last fight, a year ago in St. Charles, Mo. Powell (26-5, 15 KOs) scored a sensational first-round technical knockout win against Bundrage in their first fight seven years ago in Mashantucket, Conn.
The former “Contender” participant’s own experience against Powell made Bundrage understand how badly Spinks (39-6, 11 KOs) wants to avenge his loss and made Bundrage train accordingly. Spinks, 34, has won his two fights since Bundrage beat him. The former welterweight and junior middleweight champion out-pointed Powell in his last fight, an IBF elimination match Jan. 28 in Springfield, Mo., which earned Spinks another shot at Bundrage.
“I’ve fought two other opponents again and my performance the second time always was better,” Bundrage said. “I’ve always taken my opponents seriously. I didn’t look at it like I already beat him. I looked at him like he was Pacquiao. I trained as if I’m fighting Floyd Mayweather. I didn’t look at him as a guy I beat. I look at it as a tough fight I’ve got coming up and I’ve got to defend my crown and bring it back to Detroit.”
Bundrage has fought just once since he overwhelmed Spinks 22 months ago, but he expects a similar result in the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
“I’ve just got to show him who’s the champ and who’s the best,” Bundrage said. “I’m the champ now and I’m not desperate. I just feel like when he feels that ‘K9’ power again, he’s going to remember what happened last time and there’s nothing he’ll be able to do about it.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.