Cornelius Bundrage vs. Cory Spinks II preview & prediction

Credit: Susan L. Barnes

Cornelius Bundrage vs. Cory Spinks Fight Preview and Pick to Win

At the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, IBF 154-pound champion Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage will defend his belt against ex-Welterweight Champion Cory Spinks on June 23. This is a rematch from an August 2010 bout–won by Bundrage via 5th-round TKO. It was another surprising triumph for the late-blooming Bundrage, whose rise to the top of the division has been inspirational.

For years, Bundrage toiled. Following a first-round KO loss to Sechew Powell in 2005, he was cast on the Contender TV series. It’s difficult to not recall how some cast members mocked “K-9” and his skills. Well, now Bundrage is champ and where are those guys? He got the last laugh. And while he’s been fighting only once a year, he has scored some nice wins–including the knockout over Spinks and a rematch decision over Powell in his last fight–where Bundrage was surprisingly dominant.

  • Date: June 30, 2012
  • Site: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida
  • Division: IBF Junior Middleweight Title: 12 Rounds

Cornelius Bundrage, 31-4 (18 KOs), Detroit, Michigan, IBF Junior Middleweight Champion
Vs.
Cory Spinks, 39-6 (11 KOs), St. Louis, Missouri

Credit: Susan L. Barnes

Even though Spinks is 4 years Bundrage’s junior at 34, the perception is that Bundrage is by far the fresher fighter. Spinks has been around forever–first contending at 140 pounds in the late-90’s. He did well to score a close unanimous decision over Powell in January to earn this shot, but a long stay at the top and tough fights may have robbed him of his edge. In his last 6 bouts, he’s only 3-3. But with recent wins over quality 154-pounders like Deandre Latimore and Powell, maybe he still has enough to give Bundrage problems.

Spinks tried to do what he does best against Bundrage the first time around–boxing neatly from the southpaw stance while offering good movement and defense. But when Bundrage went after Spinks, he could not be denied. “K-9” did the right thing–barreling right through Spinks with wild and powerful swings. Spinks could not avoid all of the shots, particularly Bundrage’s big right hand.

I suspect Spinks could do better in the rematch–now fully aware of the ability of Bundrage. Perhaps he overlooked the champion a bit in the first fight. Now he knows he must fight on a razor’s edge–with zero margin for error. And Bundrage does give you chances to work the boxing game, as he is sometimes over-eager and a tad on the wild side. And with 11 knockouts in 45 fights (and zero since 2001), Spinks will need to do it for the full distance.

The problem for Spinks is that he’s clearly past his prime. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could have one more big performance in those old legs, but Bundrage might be a bad match-up for him stylistically. Spinks has good movement and quickness, but Bundrage seems just as fast as Spinks, which deprived him of his biggest edge. And it’s not pitty-pat quick–Bundrage’s punches hurt.

Bundrage is far from unbeatable. Despite his recent renaissance, a look at his record shows you don’t necessarily need to be Floyd Mayweather to get a win against “K-9.” Spinks, even at this advanced stage, is probably just as good as Sechew Powell, Steve Forbes, Joel Julio, and Grady Brewer–the 4 men who have beaten Bundrage. But he’s different. Other than Forbes, those fighters had power, suggesting that speed alone might not be enough to unseat the confident Bundrage at this point.

Bundrage vs. Spinks II Prediction

Bundrage scored some wild upsets to get to this point. Those who had the foresight to take Bundrage in his fights with Kassim Ouma and Zaurbek Baysangurov will tell you what kind of upset specialist “K-9” is. I’m not sure I really like him in the role of favorite, now that he’s established some credentials. But in this spot, I think it’s a good move. I see Bundrage steadily wearing down a better prepared Spinks and stopping him somewhere around the 8th or 9th round.

Prediction: Cornelius Bundrage wins by 9th-round TKO.

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