Headlining an action packed bill last night at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA, IBF light middleweight king Cornelius Bundrage proved age is just a number as he once again stopped former two-weight world champ Cory Spinks.
39 year old Bundrage clawed his way up from obscurity and through a hail of losses from 2005 to 2008 to grab the IBF belt from Spinks two years ago, stubbing out the
popular St. Louis fixture in the fifth round before going onto avenge a loss against Sechew Powell last year.
Standing just 5'6 tall, Bundrage quickly made up his height disadvantage against Spinks by flooring the southpaw with a pinpoint right hand in the first round. Spinks beat the count but it was clear that the 34 year old was many years separated from his formerly lightning quick reflexes.
Spinks changed tactics and bit down hard in the next round, staying in the pocket against the stronger champion while producing surprising results.
The challenger proved to still have the faster hands as managed to beat Bundrage to the punch on the inside, lambasting the champion's midsection before taking advantage of defensive openings.
This approach paid dividends until a Bundrage uppercut in the fourth shattered the control Spinks had achieved, with the challenger taking a more cautious route in the fifth.
Spinks started to open up again in the sixth, getting good results while the ever patient Bundrage continued to stalk his quarry, landing hard shots on occasion.
Fireworks broke out in the seventh when Bundrage caught Spinks flush with a big right and down went the former unified welterweight champion. Spinks managed to get up in time but was facing the full wrath of Bundrage, who once again decked the challenger with a right.
Somehow Spinks beat the count and seemed to have gotten back the majority of his senses over the next two minutes before he was sent over again by a barrage of leather, stopping the contest at 2:32 of the seventh frame.
Bundrage solidifies his grip on the IBF crown, improving to 32-4 (19), and setting himself up for a unification match with perhaps WBA boss Austin Trout or WBC supremo Saul Alvarez.
Spinks drops to 39-7 (11) having lost four of his last five title bouts.
Light middleweight contender Erislandy Landy, 17-1-1 (11), showed the full pedigree of his former Cuban amateur glory by belting around Mexican hard man Freddy Hernandez, 30-3 (20), over the course of ten rounds.
The Guantanamo southpaw displayed precision and power as he strafed Hernandez with both hands and coped with a successful third round adjustment from his rival by amping up the pressure.
Hernandez had to fight through a bad gash above an eye, from which Landy lost a point due to use of the head, but was outgunned from the start, losing 99-90, 98-91 and 95-94 on the cards.
Landy won a WBC semi-final eliminator in February and could meet big punching lefty James Kirkland for the number two spot in that sanctioning bodies' rankings.
Southpaw featherweight phenom Gary Russell Jr, 20-0 (12), continued on his climb through the ranks with a devastating performance against Christopher Perez, 23-3 (14).
The opposition faced by Perez leading up to this contest had left the Mexican ill-equipped to meet the blazing speed, superb shot selection and slippery defense mounted by Russell, who canvassed Perez four times before the fight was stopped at 1:41 of the third round.
Russell is ranked in the WBO top ten and his potential should become evident during the next year as he will likely be facing increasingly sturdier opposition.