He wasn't supposed to beat the free-swinging, trash-talking Ricardo Mayorga, but he somehow put it all together this past December to temporarily silence Mayorga's busy mouth.

Despite that win, a lot of people didn't think he'd beat Zab Judah in April, but he did, knocking Judah down in the 11th before being knocked down himself in the 12th.

He's got a reputation for producing more yawns than cheers, and his punching power hasn't brought back any fond memories of Thomas Hearns. But how can you knock a guy who is one of the few undisputed champions in the world?

Cory Spinks (33-2, 10 KOs) kept surprising us because he kept winning. So eventually, he had to be picked as the favorite. That's the case when he puts his welterweight titles on the line Sept. 4 against former WBC lightweight champ Miguel Angel Gonzalez (49-3-1, 39 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It's part of a Showtime fight card that also includes a WBO heavyweight title fight between champion Lamon Brewster and Kali Meehan.

“I can't wait to step back into the ring,” Spinks said on a conference call earlier this week. “Miguel is a great fighter. He has a lot of skills and I think it's going to be a pretty tough fight.”

Showtime must love this guy.

A southpaw, Spinks was taking time out from his workout to answer a few questions on the conference call. In the background, you could hear someone working out in the gym. And since Spinks talks softly and keeps his word count at a minimum, you had to almost lean into the phone to hear him.

Asked if he's thinking about moving up a weight class after his fight with Gonzalez, he gave the right answer.

“I'm not looking ahead,” he said. “I'm just concentrating on this fight. After the fight, we'll see.”

Yawn.

Quiet and polite, Spinks won't give away any secrets. His answers are short and straight forward. You get the feeling he wants to get back to the heavy bag and forget about this crazy interview stuff.

“I just went asleep in there,” he said when someone asked him if the left hand that dropped him in his fight against Judah – also a southpaw – showed a possible weakness. “I just got up and dusted myself off. I'm not worried about it.”

Asked what his major concern was heading into the fight, he said you can't worry about too many things when the bell rings. “I try to clear my mind and stay focused,” he said.

Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-.

Finally, someone asked him what it was like to be a world champion, how his life has changed since winning a title belt.

“You get more attention,” he said. “But you have to stay humble.”

Shortly after that, Spinks was off the line.

The heavy bag was waiting.