2012 was no walk in the park for Spinks either. After winning an IBF eliminator against Sechew Powell, Spinks aimed to avenge a loss to IBF titlist Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. The bid was unsuccessful and Bundrage emerged with a seventh round stoppage. It was presumed the loss would be the end of the line for the former welterweight champion.
However, with Gabriel Rosado having fought his last fight at middleweight, the IBF ordered a box-off with its top two contenders to fill their number one vacancy and become the mandatory to Bundrage.
The contenders? Cory Spinks and Carlos Molina.
“We’re looking for a knockout and good performance in my hometown on ESPN2,” Molina said. “Hopefully, this will lead to bigger fights.”
“I need to prove that I’m here to stay until I’m ready to put my gloves to rest,” Spinks added. “I have a lot of fight left in me.”
The fight was made when Molina’s promoter, Leon Margules, traveled to Mexico City to meet the infamous Don King to negotiate for Spinks’ services. Not long after a deal was reached, the fight found a home on television with ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” picking it up.
On social networking outlets such as Twitter, fans and media questioned why the fight was being made. Stylistically, Molina and Spinks could create an ugly clash in the ring. Spinks is known for his constant movement while Molina has an awkward approach.
Even with their distinct styles, Molina told Maxboxing he thinks the fight will provide entertainment. “This is a fight that should be - the whole card in general - on maybe a ‘ShoBox’ or something lower like that. This is a pretty good card for ESPN,” Molina said. “There are no fights on Saturday so I think the fans are looking forward to it.”
Still both fighters are known for doing whatever they have to for the win. Molina said he had studied Spinks’ style and would be prepared for it come fight time.
“He’s a boxer,” Molina said. “He likes his space. He likes to use his jab, his movement. With someone like that, you just got to pressure him. Don’t let him do what he wants to do.”
Spinks said he went through changes to prepare for Molina. Gone is trainer Buddy Shaw, who had replaced even longer-forgotten Kevin Cunningham, and in is Anthony Hamm.
“I love him,” Spinks said. “He’s just a hardnosed trainer and that’s what most fighters need. They need a trainer that’s gonna get in their butt when things are not going well, so that’s what I allow him to do.”
Spinks also mentioned that his experience will help deal with Molina’s style. “Being in the pro game and becoming a multiple [division] champion, you just get smarter,” he said. “[Molina’s style] is a hungry, greedy style. My hat goes off to him. He’s a good a fighter.”
Besides focusing on their actual fight, one match-up both fighters said they had their eyes on was the IBF junior middleweight title bout between Bundrage and Ishe Smith on Feb. 23.
“There are things that happened in the previous camps [with Bundrage] that changed and have already been corrected,” said Spinks, who failed to get into specifics. “I wouldn’t mind seeing [Bundrage] again. I want to.”
“Smith’s got defense and he could make [Bundrage] miss. If he’s more aggressive, he could pull it out,” Molina said.
To get the winner of that fight, either Molina or Spinks has to come out on top. “My main concern is Spinks right now but after winning this fight, if you can get the IBF title around you, big fights will become more available,” Molina said.
In his conversation with Maxboxing, Molina also discussed the topic of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. Recently, Yuriorkis Gamboa became the latest fighter to be linked to using PEDs and stories of fighters using are becoming more common by the day.
“I wouldn’t mind taking the 24/7/365 testing that Nonito Donaire is doing. I want to take a step towards that. I think it should be mandatory.” Molina said. “Are they going to wait until somebody dies to do something? It’s not right.”
Friday’s card is stacked with local Chicago talent including the return of Donovan George against James Cook. On his fight, George said, “I don’t get paid by the hour. If I can knock him out in the first 30 seconds, I will.”…Jaime Herrera is scheduled to return as well against Marlon Smith but the fight I want to see him against is Antonio Canas…Can Jose Luis Castillo pull off another upset in the Windy City?…Mike Mollo was called a heavyweight legend at the final press conference Wednesday and surprisingly, nobody laughed…Were these flurries a Steve Kim-only type of thing?