Cory Spinks vs Deandre Latimore This Friday

corey spinksBy Doveed Linder, photo by Wray Edwards /ESB - This Friday, St. Louis natives Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (36-5, 11 KOs) and Deandre “The Bull” Latimore (19-1, 16 KOs) will fight for the vacant IBF junior middleweight championship at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. This should prove to be an exciting night for fight fans in St. Louis and it’s a meaningful fight for the boxing world, as the winner of this fight will be considered a major player in the 154-pound weight class.

Cory Spinks hasn’t fought since he lost his IBF super middleweight title via split decision to Verno Philips in March of last year. Deandre Latimore was last seen in the ring almost 11 months ago when he scored a 7th round TKO over Sechew Powell, who was the IBF #1 ranked contender..

Spinks is a well accomplished two-division champion who holds victories over Ricardo Mayorga, Zab Judah, and Roman Karmazin. Those who have followed Spinks’ career can make an argument that controversy has surrounded some of the losses on his record. Early in his career, Spinks lost a decision to Antonio Diaz in a fight that many felt he won. When he faced Michele Piccirillo in 2002 for the IBF welterweight championship, those who saw the fight will say that Spinks dominated the action, even though the decision went to Piccirillo. And again, some people in the boxing world believe that Spinks deserved to win a decision over Jermain Taylor and Verno Philips and that his only convincing loss came against Zab Judah via 9th round TKO in 2005.

Other than his win over Sechew Powell, fight fans outside of St. Louis know little to nothing about Deandre Latimore. His career started off on a positive note. Although his competition was limited, he was scoring a lot of impressive knockouts and he remained undefeated in his first 11 fights. In his 12th fight, Latimore faced Ian Gardner (19-3) who knocked him out in the 3rd round. But Latimore has made some serious adjustments since that loss. Shortly after, he moved to Las Vegas to train with Kenny Adams where his technical skills have improved considerably and he has matured as a professional. Since the move to Vegas, he has won 8 in a row, including the victory over Powell.

For Spinks to win this fight, he has to do what he’s always done and that’s box. He needs to be focused and in shape, use his experience, and fight consistently for 12 rounds. And as much as he likes to stick and move, it would be to his advantage to sit down every once in a while and unload some power shots. Spinks might not have a KO punch, but he needs to let his hands go and earn some respect.

Latimore will be in there with a fighter who is very tricky and much more experienced. In order to win this fight he needs to bring the pressure, impose his physicality, and land as many body shots as possible. When Spinks is at his best, he has a way of stealing the early rounds with his slickness, so Latimore must stick to his game plan and keep the pressure on. With all of his movement, Spinks has a tendency to slow down around the 6th, 7th, and 8th rounds. And when that happens, Latimore needs to jump on him.

It’s also to be noted that Spinks and Latimore are both southpaws. Ian Gardner, the man who knocked out Latimore, was a southpaw. Just as Zab Judah, the opponent who stopped Spinks, was a southpaw. Whether or not this fact bares any relevance to the fight remains to be seen, but it suggests that both guys are vulnerable to southpaws.

Latimore’s trainer Kenny Adams used to be apart of Team Spinks, so he is very familiar with Spinks as a fighter. Kevin Cunningham, who is Spinks’ trainer, knows all about Latimore since they are both apart of the St. Louis boxing scene. And Cunningham’s young prospect Devon Alexander (who’s fighting on the undercard) faced Latimore in the amateurs. So everybody knows everybody and everybody knows what to do.

This could be a very difficult night for Latimore who has never been in a fight of this magnitude. But Latimore has been improving with every fight and his team is very confident of victory. Spinks has had a tendency in the past to show a lack of focus (particularly in his second fight with Judah and most recently against Verno Philips) and this is not the kind of fight where he can show up with one eye closed. Latimore is young and strong and hungry and he’s coming to win. But it’s likely that Spinks recognizes the seriousness of this challenge and that he will bring his best and win a decision, becoming the new WBC junior middleweight champion of the world.

Spinks vs Latimore will be aired on Showtime at 11pm ET/PT

Article posted on 23.04.2009

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