This Friday from Chicago, as part of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, ring veteran Cory Spinks (39-7, 11 KO) will wage war against the top-five rated Carlos Molina (20-5-2, 6 KO) in a 12-round IBF light middleweight elimination bout.
Through his 46-bout-career—which began back in 1997, the 34-year-old Spinks had established himself as one of the best fighters out there, being a former IBF light welterweight champion and a unified welterweight champion of the world. There was a four year period between 1998 and 2002 when Spinks couldn’t be beaten, going 16-0 through that stretch.
But as the years began to catch up with him, he lost a step and became a less of a threat as he once was in the division he reigned supreme in. And the southpaw who dominated utilizing his hand speed and mobility quickly became more of a stagnant opponent. Since jumping up to light middleweight in 2006 Spinks has only gone 5-4, and 3-4 in his last seven trips to the squared circle.
Although his consistency has lacked as of recent, he has always managed to find himself a world title fight due to his ability to put on a show and bring the fight to his opponent, regardless of if he won or loss. Because of that he has earned this title eliminator shot against Molina. But being 34 in a young man’s game, Spinks undoubtedly has to realize that this may be his last shot at the big dance.
Stylistically Spinks vs. Molina should make for a great fight. Neither fighter has shown throughout their careers that they are much of a one-punch knockout threat, but are capable of doing accrued damage to their opponents through the fight.
“Spinks knows how to box, and he knows how to fight,” said Spinks. “He’s been around boxing forever, since he was a kid. I’ve just got to pressure him and work his body. I need to attack.”
Molina was the center of controversy following the his DQ loss to James Kirkland in March of last year, when at the conclusion of the 10th round his corner entered the ring prior to the end of the round, therefore resulting in a disqualification loss for the light middleweight. Despite losing the fight on paper, Molina was more than dominating Kirkland through the bout, and if not for the technicality, would’ve breezed his way into an easy unanimous decision win.
But unfortunately that’s boxing. It’s in the past, and it can’t be changed. Molina was so close last March to claiming the belt, and he was robbed big time.
Tomorrow night against Spinks he has a chance to do himself justice. Only Molina can go out there and make up for the DQ loss on his record against James Kirkland; he will most likely go beyond giving instructions to his corner to refrain from entering the ring, but that shouldn’t be an issue tomorrow night.
Spinks still has skill, speed, and the know-how to frustrate an opponent, but Molina is coming in the hungrier fighter with something to prove. Spinks has tasted the glory Molina dreams about and tomorrow night Molina is going to fight the fight of his life to line himself up for the IBF light middleweight championship.
The ESPN Friday Night Fights card will begin live from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago at 9 p.m. on ESPN 2.