Boxing


Spinks, Phillips and Callist Workout Quotes

ST. LOUIS—A large media contingent arrived for open workouts by hometown sons Cory Spinks and Devon Alexander “The Great” who are appearing in separate championship matches as part of Don King’s “Pride of St. Louis” event at Scottrade Center and Web cast on DonKingTV.com on Thursday. The Alexander and Spinks workouts were held in separate gyms due to Spinks’s recent split from his trainer of 13 years Kevin Cunningham, which took place three weeks ago. Cunningham, who still trains and manages Devon Alexander, explained his departure from the Spinks camp..

“It just got to the point where Cory’s ready to run his own program with his new team and I respect that and wish him well,” Cunningham said.

Spinks said he was ready for a change and wanted to work with longtime St. Louis trainer Buddy Shaw.

“Egos get in the way,” Spinks said. “It has just been building. We [Kevin and I] have accomplished a lot in my career but I guess it is time for something new. From here, I am still happy and I’ll shine come Thursday night.

“There is no difference (between Kevin and new trainer Buddy Shaw). Kevin was a great trainer. We have got to move on. You still have to be great in the end. This is my job and I plan to do my job come Thursday night.”

Spinks added: “I’m going to have two gold medalists and two heavyweight world champions in my corner on Thursday in my father Leon and my uncle Mike. They have been helping me in the gym, too.”

Former three-time world champion Verno Phillips is ready to face Spinks and become a four-time world champion.

“I know I am fighting him [Spinks] in his hometown, but I plan to get my fourth world title and join the Hall of Fame. I can’t control the hometown fans. All I can do is control what I can do in the ring and show my skills.”

Undefeated 21-year-old 140-pounder Alexander is ready to fight in his hometown as well.

“I know he [Miguel Callist] doesn’t have a big heart like I do,” Alexander said. “I saw his last fight and I saw that he doesn’t have enough heart. The guy barely hit him and he went down. I am going to take his heart very early and test his heart.”

WBA FEDLATIN super lightweight champion Miguel Callist remained undaunted at the prospect of facing Alexander in his hometown on Thursday.

“It’s OK for me,” Callist said. “If you want to be a champion, you come through the front door always. I come to St. Louis for the victory by any means necessary.”

Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25 can be purchased at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 314-241-1888 for an automated line or 314-421-4400 or 618-222-2900 for sales rep, or online at ticketmaster.com. A per-ticket facility fee will be added to all tickets purchased at all locations, including at the Scottrade Center Box Office. Additional Ticketmaster service charges and handling fees apply. For disabled seating, call 314-622-5420. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the first of nine scheduled bouts beginning shortly thereafter.

The free Web cast on DonKingTV.com will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT (blocked in St. Louis area). Spinks vs. Phillips for the IBF junior middleweight championship and Alexander vs. Callist for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA FEDELATIN super lightweight titles will be preceded on the Web cast by two featured attractions.

Undefeated cruiserweight Francisco Palacios, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, will take on Zack Page, from Warren Ohio, and undefeated super middleweight Marcus Johnson, from Killeen, Tex., will face Jose Medina, from Miami, Fla.


Full Quotes

Cory Spinks: (On his split with trainer Kevin Cunningham after 13 years)” “Egos get in the way. It has just been building. We [Kevin and I] have accomplished a lot in my career but I guess it is time for something new. From here, I am still happy and I’ll shine come Thursday night.

“There is no difference (between Kevin and new trainer Buddy Shaw). Kevin was a great trainer. We have got to move on. You still have to be great in the end. This is my job and I plan to do my job come Thursday night.

“I've known Buddy for a long time. He was the first one I thought of. We have worked well together. Things are not going to change Thursday night. I am ready to defend my championship. My opponent is a slick fighter but so am I. I'll make him miss a lot. I plan to shine Thursday night.”

(Would you ever get back together with Kevin Cunningham?) “Not at this point. I take my hat off to the guy for what he did for me. I gotta move on. You can’t stay stuck in that frame of mind. You got to move on. I’m still a world champion. And I want to stay a world champion.

“I’m going to have two gold medalists and two heavyweight world champions in my corner on Thursday in my father Leon and my uncle Mike. They have been helping me in the gym, too.

“Everything is perfect. We are ready to fight. I feel great, look great and am ready to be great. This is a plus in every way. I am going to shine come Thursday night.

“This [St. Louis] is a city of champions—the Cardinals, the Blues, the Rams. I want to continue being a champion.”

Kevin Cunningham (Cory Spinks’s trainer and manager for the last 13 years, who was relieved of training duties three weeks ago): “It just got to the point where Cory’s ready to run his own program with his new team and I respect that and wish him well.”

Buddy Shaw (longtime St. Louis trainer, who took over training duties for Cory Spinks three weeks ago): “I’ve seen him [Cory Spinks] since he was eight years old. You could see there was something special about him when he began to move as an amateur. I am very happy where we are right now.

“I am just here [training Cory Spinks] for Thursday night. This is not the biggest fight for me. I was with Arthur Johnson when he fought Timmy Austin for the bantamweight title in Las Vegas.

“There was a game plan in place. Being a boxer myself, I have watched one tape and seen Verno fight. You don’t change that much. You don’t change the stripes on a leopard. I am happy where we are right now. I am very confident of what he [Cory Spinks] can do.

“Verno is an old veteran and he has been around the block a few times. That will pose a few problems but once we get past that we will be fine.

“Everything has gone smoothly. Great cooperation from Cory. He has been really in it. He has done everything I have asked him to do. He has been happy.

“I can’t change either. There is nothing I can really do. His great potential is yet to be tapped. There is nothing you can do during this time [the past three weeks]. You leave it where it is and I am working with what he can do. Conditioning is where it is and that is what matters at this point.

“There wasn’t a loss of time [between Cunningham leaving and him taking over]. We are right we want to be for the weigh in on Wednesday. He’s running good, he’s training good, he’s had excellent sparring. I’m happy. He has been working on my turf.”

Verno Phillips: “I know I am fighting him [Cory Spinks] in his hometown, but I plan to get my fourth world title and join the Hall of Fame.

“I can’t control the [Spinks’s] hometown fans. All I can do is control what I can do in the ring and show my skills.

“I plan to do my thing and make him look silly. I have a game plan and you will see my game plan Thursday night. I am hard to hit. My hands are perfect and when my hands connect with him, they will be solid. I can fight all night. I am focused. I am going to make a name for myself in Belize.

“I only saw Spinks when he mentioned my name when he got to 154 [pounds]. I look forward to the opportunity to fight him. God gave me a strong lion heart. Boxing is what I love to do. It has kept me out of trouble. I didn’t know I would be a three-time world champion. God has told me I can go for a four-time champion and give me all the things I want before I get out of boxing. That is what I want.”

(How popular are you in Belize?) “They told me that if I win this they would give me a golden key. Maybe I’ll get a statue. It is nice there. It’s a tourist city. Everywhere I go there, I run. They (the people) bow. They kiss my hand. I just want to be humble. I do it for the land and my family.

“I am focused for this fight. I have been watching tapes of his [Spinks’s] fights and concentrating on his moves. I have skill. I have not lost the skill that I have.

“I trained in Denver, Argentina and Arizona. I have been training a long time. We were ready for the [Spinks] fight on January 19 at Madison Square Garden and it was cancelled. Then it was going to move to Germany and it was postponed again. They offered me the fight in his hometown. I talked with my trainer. We are ready to go. We are going to come here and upset him.”

Devon Alexander: “I’m super ready. The hard work takes place in the gym before fights with how much you put into it. That makes the fight easy. I have to calm myself down on fight night because I get so excited.

“I love what I do when I’m in the ring. I get focused. That’s what will make me a world champion, hopefully by next year.”

“I had a lot of decisions early in my career, but I’ve been working on my power and strength. I was working on technique as an amateur, but now I’m working on getting pop to my punches.”

(On his fight with DeMarcus Corley…) “I never made eight rounds before and I then I went 12 with Corley. Now that I know I can go 12, I have been training extra hard for this fight against an experienced veteran.

“Corley was a slick fighter. I was pacing myself. I got the victory. It was a big victory for me. I learned a lot. I got a lot of experience from it. I am my own worst critic. I could have done a lot better than what I did in the fight. I wanted to knock him, but I was satisfied with the decision. I just know I could have done a lot better.

“I am still working on my power. I am progressing. I am 14-0 now. Madison Square Garden was big for me. Not everyone gets to fight in Madison Square Garden. It is just a blessing what has happened to me.

“I never go into a fight thinking I am going to knock a guy out. I have trained very very hard.

I am settled in at 140. That is where I am most comfortable at.

“I hope to fight every two months. I leave it up to my trainer Kevin Cunningham, but I like to fight every two months. That way you are preparing everyday. I am full of energy and I am ready to go.

“I feel good…I am back home in St. Louis…I get to show the fans that they have a real champion here. I have been training for two months. I am excited about it. I just want to show the fans they have a champion here in St. Louis. This week I am just staying fit and staying focused, watching my weight and sticking to the game plan. If I am not ready Thursday night, I will never be ready. I’ve been training very hard for this fight.

“The serious training ended Saturday. We are ready to go. It has been two months of vigorous training. I can’t get tired. I have been running 6.2 miles everyday. I have been in the gym sparring Monday, Wednesday and Friday eight to 10 rounds. We are in the gym Monday through Saturday. If he (Callist) can withstand that, I take my hat off to him.

“Kevin is all business. There is no b.s. It is all hard training here. We don’t show any weakness. He is like a drill sergeant. He has always been like a dad to me. We’ve been together since I was eight years old. I was a snotty nosed kid when I walked in the gym and met Kevin. I came into the gym and I was excited about boxing. I was very small and I had trouble reaching up to the bag. I stuck with it and I am 14-0 now. It is just starting to pay off now.”

(On Thursday’s opponent, continental champion Miguel Callist) “I know he doesn’t have a big heart like I do. I saw his last fight and I saw that he doesn’t have enough heart. The guy barely hit him and he went down. I am going to take his heart very early and test his heart. I will feel him out the first round and then take it from there.

“Every fight is a big fight. This is a unification bout. I train harder and harder each fight. I know the guys going to try to knock my head off. That is why I train twice as hard.”

Miguel Callist: “It’s OK for me [to face Devon Alexander in his hometown]. If you want to be a champion, you come through the front door always. I come to St. Louis for the victory by any means necessary.”

Article posted on 25.03.2008



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