Cory Spinks has retired from boxing, according to his wife Christy, who released a statement to BoxingScene.com that pointlessly took a dump on Cornelius Bundrage, but let's get past that and just talk about the real news here.
Spinks, at 34, has been in a sharp decline for a few years now, and anyone who has seen him fight has to have been able to come to that conclusion. While his wife's ripping of Bundrage may not have been necessary, she does have a point that a prime Spinks likely never would have let a somewhat crude battler like Bundrage to so easily beat him on two occasions.
The prime version of Cory Spinks was a champion at welterweight and junior middleweight, and while never a fan favorite outside of his native St. Louis, the second-generation fighter did his family's name proud with his achievements in the squared circle, and was a smart, crafty fighter who made the most of what he had naturally.
He was never really an elite fighter -- losses to guys like Antonio Diaz and Michele Piccirillo made that clear before he even reached his peak -- but he managed to reach the upper tier of the sport anyway. He knew his way around the ring, learned from his stumbles, and had a great run in 2003-04 when he avenged his defeat against Piccirillo, and then scored wins over Ricardo Mayorga and Zab Judah to become the true welterweight champion of the world.
Spinks would lose to Judah in their 2005 rematch, after which he became a permanent fixture in the IBF junior middleweight title scene. Eight of the ten remaining fights in his career had something to do with the IBF title at 154 pounds, either in a title fight, or in a sanctioned eliminator bout to receive a title shot. The only exceptions were his move to middleweight to challenge Jermain Taylor in 2007, and a tune-up fight against Shakir Ashanti in 2011.
It was after the loss to Taylor at 160 pounds that Spinks began to show some signs of his decline. He lost a close bout to Verno Phillips after that, where his legs didn't seem to be what they were before, and with Spinks, his legs were always a big part of his game.
A win over potential replacement hometown hero Deandre Latimore followed that, though Spinks still didn't look quite himself. It was one of the more inspired nights of his career, though. Fighting at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Spinks was booed upon his entrance, with Latimore receiving the cheers from the home faithful. By the end of the fight, the crowd was back in Cory's corner.
That was his final night, really. Cornelius Bundrage demolished him 16 months later, and stopped him again in 2012. Last Friday, Carlos Molina battered Spinks over 12 rounds. Spinks was never in the fight.
And so ends the 16-year career of a fighter. Spinks will not go down in the history books as a great, but he was a good fighter, and held his own with some of the top fighters of his generation. He kept boxing alive in St. Louis for years, and helped keep Don King in business, too, though that might not be one of the strong points of his time in the sport.
Spinks leaves the sport with a record of 39-8, with 11 KO wins. And he fought contenders until the end.