The weekend boxing card overflows with names that are appointed to get fight fans excited. That said, only Showtime’s IBF light middle weight title fight between current belt holder Cornelius Bundrage (31-4-0-1, 18 KO’s) and former champion Cory Spinks (39-6, 11 KO’s) should prove to be competitive.
The bout will serve as a rematch from their 2010 encounter when Bundrage entered Spinks’ backyard as the challenger but departed St. Louis with the IBF strap by way of a devastating fifth round KO. The undercard in San Jose has Gary Russell Jr. and Erislandy Lara showcased. Lara will be fighting outside of his homeland Mexico for the very first time.
On that same night halfway across the globe in Lodz, Poland, the 43 yr. old Roy Jones Jr. (55-8, 40 KO’s) takes on Dawid Kostecki (39-1, 25 KO’s). Entering the ring with three losses in his past four fights, Jones will undoubtedly be listed as the underdog when the betting line eventually becomes available offshore.
Kostecki, who two years ago was arrested and charged of forming and leading a criminal enterprise which engaged in prostitution and drugs, and has already been sentenced to 2½ years in prison, is currently ranked as a top 15 light heavyweight by BoxingRec.com.
Jones may have the edge in experience and boxing IQ, but it’s been evident in his past few bouts that physically, at this age his body just won’t cooperate anymore. Knowing what to do and possessing a craft are very different than being able to execute, and Kostecki has too much power and even hand speed for Jones at this time.
Though Jones will eventually be recognized as one of the greatest to have laced up the gloves, since beating Jeff Lacy in 2009, he’s done nothing to add to his legacy. For Kostecki, as long as his problems outside the ring have not interfered too much with his preparations, he’ll be able to give the hometown fans reason to celebrate by finishing the future first ballot Hall of Famer inside the distance.
As for Showtime’s main event, there is no betting line being offered yet. Rest assured like all major bouts, a price will eventually be hung up.
Unlike their first encounter, I expect the line on Bundrage will not be cheap. Unlike most of his boxing career, he will be cemented as the obvious favorite. Not only did Bundrage beat Spinks convincingly the first time around, but there will be no home field advantage to open the door for bias judging if the rematch goes to the scorecards.
Expect the champion to be listed as -400, with anything less reflecting value. Bookmakers would have to be generous enough to give bettors somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-1 for me to even consider backing Spinks. Since that will almost surely not be the case, we’re left with deciding whether to lay the chalk with the favorite.
Expect that Spinks will not overlook Bundrage this time around like it appeared when he got KO’d. Even so, his best years are well behind him now and he definitely lacks the speed and power to give the champion problems.
Spinks would need to outbox Bundrage and keep him away for the entire fight to have a chance at an upset and I just can’t see that happening. On the flip side, though Bundrage is most known for his time on “The Contender” and four years older than Spinks, he’s taken a lot less punishment throughout his boxing career and still appears to have a few good fights left in him.
Bundrage is the prototypical Kronk’s Gym product who is willing to take two shots to land one of his own. Against Spinks, who lacks one punch power and whose KO ratio suggests Brundrage will have little to fear, I expect the title holder will fight forward for as long as it lasts.
Look for Spinks to have some success early on with his boxing, but eventually Bundrage will hunt him down and apply pressure. That pressure will begin to take its toll and as the fight wears on, Spinks will become a much easier target to hit.
Pick: Bundrage by KO or TKO.
Josesito Lopez threw a wrench into Golden Boy Promotions plans for a Sept. 15 pay-per-view bout between current cash cow Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and “Vicious” Victor Ortiz. Lopez, a 5-1 underdog, was victorious in what was said to be a tune-up fight for Ortiz.
Though Ortiz was ahead on all three scorecards and on his way to win a decision, Lopez proved from the very first round that he would have to earn it. Lopez a natural 140 lb contender, fighting at 147, stood his ground and was willing to go toe to toe with what appeared to be the stronger Ortiz.
In the end, heart won out. A lethal shot landed on the jaw of Ortiz at a time when his mouth was left wide open. As the bell sounded to end the round, Ortiz insisted he had broken his jaw and was unwilling to continue, even though his corner objected.
So now it appears that Top Rank and Bob Arum will have that date all to themselves unless an opponent can be found to face Alvarez. Both promotions had scheduled a major card for that same date and there had been plenty of jawing (pun intended) prior to what will be considered one of 2012’s biggest upsets.
There was a “rematch clause” in the contract and word is that both Showtime and Golden Boy are on board to make it happen.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Golden Boy will go back to the negotiating table for a third time to try and make a fight with James Kirkland finally happen. Otherwise, pickings are slim at the moment. Egos aside, Golden Boy needs to reconsider going head to head with such a highly anticipated fight as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez.
2011-12 record = 57-35