August 15, 2001 – By Paul Upham: Cory “Return of the Spinks Jinx” Spinks faces IBF No.11 Larry Marks this Friday night on ESPN2 with the vacant USBA welterweight title and the IBF No.1 ranking on the line at the DePaul Athletic Center in Chicago.
Headlining an Eight Count Promotions card, Spinks, 27-1 (12), the IBF No.5 is looking to show that he is ready to face the best welterweights in the division. Having called out WBA champion Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis repeatedly for a fight, Spinks will be looking for a better performance against Marks than the one Lewis showed last April in New York.
“Cory is going to come out and put on a spectacular performance and let the world know that he is ready to become world champion,” said Spinks’ trainer and manager Kevin Cunningham.
“He will deal with Larry Marks the way ‘Six Heads’ should have dealt with him. That’s by totally dominating him and outclassing him. Dealing with him like he is a B level fighter. Larry Marks made Six Heads look like an average fighter,” added Cunningham.
Spinks has been in the gym readying himself for a fight, which he had hoped would already have happened against the WBA champion. “We were in the gym the latter part of May getting ready for a fight with Six Heads,” said Cunningham, who says that the career stops do not affect Spinks.
“He handles it pretty well. He is not a high temperament type of person. He is an easy type of guy. But we still want Six Heads. That is the fight for us.”
Although a win over Marks, 22-4 (13), will secure Spinks the IBF No.1 ranking, Cunningham is wary of coming between Forrest and Shane Mosley when HBO wants that match-up. “That’s the way we are looking at it. We are hearing on the Vernon Forrest situation that HBO really wants to make a Forrest-Mosley fight,” said Cunningham.
“I’m not too anxious about getting involved in negotiations for a Vernon Forrest fight knowing that HBO wants him with Sugar Shane Mosley. I don’t think it’s in our best interests to fight Vernon Forrest politically.
“I think Cory has no problems with Vernon Forrest, my concern is the powers that be want to make a Forrest-Mosley fight. It’s not what’s going to happen inside the ring that concerns me, it’s what happens outside the ring that concerns me. I have been told that they offered Cory to Vernon Forrest before and he turned it down because they didn’t want to fight a slick southpaw.”
With reports that Forrest turned down $1.5 million to fight Mosley in December, Spinks is desperate for a big fight, and Cunningham has a simple solution. “We’ll take the $1.5 million that Forrest tuned down and we will fight Mosley. After Cory puts on the performance that he is going to put in on Friday night and, with the marquee name, there are only two marquee names in the welterweight division right now. That is Sugar Shane Mosley and Cory Spinks,” said Cunningham.
“Six Heads is running from us and Mosley needs a marquee opponent. Give us the $1.5 million that Forrest turned down and we’ll fight Mosley.”
The son of former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks and nephew of double world champion Michael Spinks last fought on March 23 when he won a fourtth round technical decision over Leonard Townsend.
The 23 year-old Cory was born five days after his father defeated Muhammad Ali to become heavyweight champion of the world in February 1978 and his only loss was a disputed decision to tough Antonio Diaz in December 1998.
Spinks and Cunningham will travel to Chicago on Wednesday morning for a fight that they hope will catapult the second generation boxer to a world title shot. “We are looking to take care of business Friday night. Hopefully, Bob Arum who promotes us and ‘Six Heads’, will do the right thing and make the Six Heads-Spinks fight. To me, that is the right fight for us,” said Cunningham.
“We’ve given Six Heads a new nickname. Instead of Six Heads, what we call him his ‘Chicken Heads’. That is what Cory calls him in the gym every day.”
Cunningham is also concerned that Lewis will lose the WBA title to a fighter who is not promoted by Top Rank and it will make it harder for his charge to get a title shot.
“All Bob Arum has to do is make that fight. Six Heads is not going to have that title much longer anyway. He was on his way to getting stopped in his last fight. Ricardo Mayorga was hitting him with shots. He was throwing punches from Cuba and hitting ‘Six Heads’ with the shots. If he hadn’t got cut, he would have got stopped,” said Cunningham.
“We are looking for a spectacular performance on Friday night against Larry Marks and, after that, we are willing to take on all comers if everything is right. I would rather Cory fight ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley for the $1.5 million that Vernon Forrest turned down as opposed to fighting Vernon Forrest for little money.”