The Next Great Jinx?

10.06.04 - By Joseph Buro: The Spinks Jinx is an unexplainable phenomenon, a bolt of lightning that happens once a generation. We all know about Leon and we all know about Michael. Cory, the latest torch-bearer of the almighty Jinx, is unlike his uncle and his father stylistically. The excitement of his recent fights was more the product their nail-biting finishes than any fireworks provided by Cory himself. You find yourself sitting there trying to understand why someone can’t beat this guy. You tell yourself that he can’t possibly control the fight for another round without trading at some point…….Could he?? So you wait, figuring that something must change the dynamics of this fight.

But in true John Ruiz fashion, he never disappoints.

In December of 2003, Ricardo Mayorga was on the cusp of stardom. He had just bested pound-for-pound player Vernon Forrest twice, in two different ways no less. He was a fan favorite, and slugged it out with wild abandon. His strategy in fighting Cory would be no different. Round upon round, he would launch wild shots at his opponent to the oohs and aahs of a tense crowd. Some connected, but Cory handled the impact like a champ. Most were simply cutting air as Cory artfully moved from side to side. One observer described Cory’s performance as Matrix-like, narrowly dodging bullets from every angle imaginable.

Most fighters who exhibit Cory’s defensive prowess tend to drop their guard later in the fight as the instincts and reflexes which enable them to duck and dodge fade with stamina. Yet on adrenaline alone, Cory was able to maintain his edge throughout the contest and tippy-toe his way to a close decision, without even marking his opponent. Mayorga, less than a year later, announced his retirement after a lack-luster performance against journeyman Eric Mitchell, and an eight round slaughtering by the hands of Felix Trinidad (I’ll get to him in a moment).

Inside the ring, the Jinx had struck again and there they were, all three of them, celebrating Cory’s victory. The Jinx struck again outside the ring as well, manifested by its quieting power over the crowd, who slowly turned toward the rear exit. The Jinx had spared them of a frightful beating The Executioner administered that night.

When the dust settled, we had a new undisputed welterweight king, whether you liked it or not and the rumblings around the Kingdom are whispering that Felix Trinidad, the prince of Puerto Rico, will be his next opponent.

You could say that Trinidad is the anti-Spinks. Aladdin Freeman wrote of Tito’s recent come-back fight:

Being at Madison Square in person was a thing to behold. Nineteen thousand plus fans screaming at the top of their lungs; in fact there was screaming, crying, yelling and fainting going on, and this was from the male fans, forget about the women. People were standing from the singing of the National Anthems until the final stoppage. This was truly like no fight atmosphere I’d seen before in the years that I’ve covered the sport.

After getting burned by Bernard Hopkins more than three years ago, boxing’s favorite son rose from his ashes, uplifting an entire city and fans worldwide with a breathtaking eighth round TKO victory.

And with that, he’s looking to challenge the great Jinx itself.

I’m waiting…….nervously.

Article posted on 06.10.2004

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