IBF World super welterweight champion Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage(34-5, 19KO’s) has been absent from the ring since he won his title back in October against Carlos Molina. In an extended two-part interview with Tha Boxing Voice’s Nestor Gibbs, he takes us through his plans for the immediate future and comments on some of the most notable occurrences in his recent past. This is Part 1.
When K9 won the title, he did so against a bewildered man ensnared in a host of difficult legal battles outside of the ring. He still put on a solid performance in Molina’s backyard. Bundrage knocked him down in the first and the tenth on the way to a points victory that remained wide despite having one point deducted for rabbit-punching in the eighth. Since that evening the wire has been very quiet for him, but the new champ and his camp are seemingly making moves to ensure a high-profile opponent for the maiden defence of his belt.
“The name that’s reaching my ears the most right now is Tim Bradley. Tim Bradley said he wouldn’t mind fighting K9 because of the fact that me and him is the same height. I mean we both walk around a lot bigger than our weight and I think he just wants to move up because, you know, coming down to 147[pounds] he hasn’t been looking as strong in his last few fights so, I think he’s looking to move up.”
Bradley would be a huge leap up in class for K9 compared to the fighters he is used to facing. Lil Tim has only just started to show signs of fallibility with a first career loss to Manny Pacquiao in their rematch last year, and was just swindled out of a win against Diego Chaves in December when a draw was given on the scorecards for a bout that Bradley appeared to win despite sustaining some ghastly facial damage.
The stocky Californian brings an awkward yet athletic style to match his physicality and is a risky assignment for anyone, yet K9 insists that a fight between the two is not just a matter of speculation.
“His promoter Bob Arum spoke with my CEO, my CEO of my company K9 Boxing Global Promotions so they had a sit down, a meeting, and they went over a few things and I think that fight right there is on the table. I’m not saying we’re in negotiations with him, but it could be made.”
When asked for clarification on who initiated talks to possibly make that fight happen, K9 revealed that the notion began in quite a schoolyard fashion.
“Well like I said when I looked at FIGHTHYPE.COM, Bradley and his trainer[Joel Diaz] was talking about moving up to junior middleweight and fighting me. And his trainer said ‘man I seen a lot of K9 fights’ and ‘we could take K9’. So I had the CEO of my company reach out to Bob Arum and they talked.”
Now, given the malleable nature of boxing when it comes to possible future fights, we can not take it for granted that this fight will definitely take place as a whole number of unforeseen circumstances could prohibit it.
One man in particular is holding the entire sport at a standstill right now as fighters await to see what he will do next before committing to their own plans. The man in question is Floyd Mayweather Jr, and K9 explains how the uncertainty surrounding ‘Money’s’ next move affects not only himself but all of the other fighters due to return to action some time soon.
“What’s really happening too man is a lot of stuff is being surrounded by what Mayweather is doing, so that’s why a lot of things have to happen right now. It’s like Pacquaio. Pacquiao hasn’t reached out to fight nobody other than Mayweather cuz it’s on the table.
Amir Khan. Amir Khan hasn’t reached out to fight anybody because it’s a possibility that he could fight Mayweather. If he doesn’t fight against Mayweather and Pacquiao doesn’t fight against Mayweather, it’s talk that they might fight each other . So really it’s like, a lot of people are really just waiting to see what’s gon’ happen between them two because I might end up on an undercard of Pacquiao or Mayweather you know what I mean, because I have my own promotions; I’m under nobody’s umbrella but my own.”
Essentially, it is worth more to a fighter who is not in the highest earning bracket of boxing to try and find a lucrative spot on an undercard of one of the sport’s premier stars rather than headline a show of their own. And while it is interminably irritating as a fan waiting to hear who Floyd will finally confirm as is next opponent(preferably Manny Pacquiao of course) his fellow professional’s cash-flow is being interrupted by his indecisiveness.
If this is not reason enough for fighters to be a little irksome towards Floyd, K9 has a more personal reason for harbouring ill-will against him following an unsavoury occurrence at ringside during his majority decision loss to Ishe Smith(who is signed to Floyd’s Mayweather Promotions) in February 2013.
“Mayweather don’t wanna see me in the ring I stopped trying to reach out to him man. That man don’t want no problems, and he disrespected my wife so he know there be punishment waiting for him. I’ll put him on time out. When I fought Smith in my hometown of Detroit, Mayweather was mad dancing behind my wife man, trying to grab her hand and talk to her. He was trying to distract me but it went viral man there was pictures all over of him trying to grab her and take pictures with her, telling her this and that.”
The incident just described is one that makes it easy to rain down disparagement on the character of Floyd Mayweather, something that most fans would rather not do given his technical brilliance between the ropes. Nobody needs to lower themselves to employing such deplorable tactics just so an employee may get a slight edge in the ring, but I cannot say I am surprised by this story; money can’t buy class.
In Part 2 of the interview, K9 gives his thoughts on the upcoming bout between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs James Kirkland, and his own past associations with the young Mexican star.