Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
In a fight filled with excessive holding, wanton wrestling and a finish that was punctuated with lowblows, Cornelius Bundrage knocked Cory Spinks down numerous times en route to a seventh round technical knockout at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Saturday, June 30. Following the official announcement of his triumph, Bundrage expressed his desire to unify his IBF junior middleweight belt with Saul Alvarez’s WBC title.
Official verdict: Bundrage via 7th Rd TKO.
Bundrage’s best weapon was established early as a succession of tough right hands all landed but, midway through the first round, Spinks began to employ head movement in order to duck under the shot. When it came to attacking, Spinks struggled to press the trigger and his most notable contribution to the fight was lifting Bundrage up for a few seconds, prompting the referee to pull them apart. Moments later, Spinks was dropped with an overhand right, recovered, but for the second time in three minutes the pair decided to abandon the discipline they had trained in and instead wrestled.
In round two, Spinks clinched and, in retaliation, Bundrage got Cory headlocked with a free arm and both moves contributed to the souring of the sweet science. It took a knockdown, some MMA-style grappling and five minutes of taking Bundrage’s shots for Spinks to finally box positively and connected with an orthodox jab followed by a body-bound left.
Bundrage relied on single-fire jabbing at the start of round three and this contributed to the swelling on the right eye of Spinks. The often spoken pugilistic mantra of keep yourself protected at all times was something that went AWOL in Spinks’ mind in round four as he left his chin hanging, which allowed Bundrage to score with a hellacious uppercut and a bomb of a hook.
Spinks secured his first big round in the fifth, landing damaging left hands, right hooks, targeting the body and finishing the session with a huge straight. Bundrage had slowed considerable and this allowed Spinks to gain momentum, something that irked Bundrage’s head cornerman Emmanuel Steward who shouted: “You’re stumbling around like a goddam drunk,” as well as: “You’re letting him get his confidence back!”
The success Bundrage enjoyed with his right hand early on had fizzled out by the end of the sixth as his accuracy had gone. While Spinks’ could not brag the power of Bundrage, his inside fighting was superior and won him the round.
Any momentum Spinks had built up in the fifth and sixth was stolen away from him in the seventh as Bundrage twice dropped Spinks, both times with acute right hands. Cornelius had relocated his accuracy with the punch and Spinks was beaten around the ring, falling to the canvas another two times, yet both were adjudged to not be the result of a punch. With 26 seconds remaining on the round, the referee waved the bout off as Bundrage was literally chasing and battering his man, with little intention to reply let alone throw anything back.
“I want Canelo [Alvarez],” proclaimed Bundrage, hoping to be the man to fill the TBA slot next to Saul’s name for the popular Mexican’s slated prizefight on September 15.
Overall, the bout was not pretty, neither was the pummeling Cory received in the seventh and final stanza but Bundrage did enough to claim his second win in his series with Spinks. With a knockout victory, the Iron Man Bundrage saw his record rise to 32-4-0, 19ko and, while the announcement was made, Cornelius – in what had become his signature – barked into the air, mimicking an animal who would be more likely to fight cleaner.