IBF World super welterweight champion Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage(34-5, 19KO’s) exclusively for Tha Boxing Voice. In Part 1 they spoke about a possible fight with Timothy Bradley and how Floyd Mayweather’s behaviour is sub-par on all fronts. In this segment they begin by discussing the imminent Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez(44-1, 31KO’s) vs James Kirkland(32-1, 28KO’s) match and how K9 had previously missed out on a high profile outing against the fair-skinned Latino prodigy.
“We were approached by Canelo and them, Canelo and his peoples, and my name was out there along with Kirkland’s name and I believe another name. But of course with the performance I had against Carlos Molina, my name didn’t get caught, and then with it being a Mexican holiday, you know Canelo wants to look good so, it’s better he can look good against a guy who comes straight ahead and hasn’t fought in two years.”
This may be an oversimplification of why Kirkland was favoured as Canelo’s next opponent. It is true that K9 put on a strong performance in winning the title against Molina in October, but it is my estimation that Kirkland is younger, stronger and has wider name recognition than that of K9.
What Kirkland lacks in wiles and technique he makes up for with the unbridled fury. Something he takes into each of his contests, and I’m not sure if he presents an easier task than the 41-year old K9. That being said Kirkland is very inactive with only two appearances since late 2011. Something that clearly feeds K9’s assertion that Canelo picked the softer touch instead of a champion who deserves more respect than he is being given.
“I’m not gonna chase Canelo. I got the belt man, come on, I got the belt. Kirkland you know he’s a good fighter, but Kirkland ain’t what he used to be you know what I mean and he ain’t fought in two years so. I’m not gon’ wait, I’m gon’ create because I’m a world champion, so I ain’t worried about no Canelo or them guys man, I’m gonna fight whoever’s in front of me.”
I’m certain he would prefer the person they put in front of him to have as high an earning potential as possible, especially given the fact that K9 is one of the oldest champions in boxing right now. Logic suggests he has fewer rounds than most in which he can accumulate as much money as possible before his reign comes to an end. K9 feels he’ll likely have to go after the other belt holders to do so.
“All unifications lead to K9 man believe me when I tell you so this probably won’t be the last belt I’ma be getting. I definitely look forward to unifying the belts. You got Boo Boo[Demetrius Andrade], who else got the belt? Floyd got the belt! Man he holding that belt hostage, that’s why so many guys wanna fight me because Floyd’s got two belts that he’s not even defending.”
It is a familiar practice for sanctioning bodies such as the WBC to offer special dispensations when applied to defending belts within a certain timescale for fighters who generate hefty revenues. Despite the unscrupulousness of the situation, it is something we all must put up with. The reality is Floyd fights whoever he wants, and K9 does not have the name value or the Latin heritage to warrant a fight with him.
So if K9 eventually chooses to forgo a unification fight with Andrade for his WBO title or Erislandy Lara for his WBA regular strap and goes for one big money shot, the only fighter within his realm who can offer the big bucks is that pesky kid Canelo. But according to K9, Golden Boy Promotions have endeavoured to sabotage that meeting for years now.
“That guy’s been ducking me since I was signed to Golden Boy. I was told, when Emmanuel Steward was alive that once we beat Cory Spinks that we was going to get the Canelo fight, but I saw Oscar[De La Hoya; CEO and founder of G.B.P] looking at me man, and I saw how his eyes were glued to me and they said, ‘nah, Canelo not ready for that.’
So Canelo went and fought everybody else other than me. Now that he done fought Mayweather and he done fought against Angulo, and then he fought Lara I said well maybe he got the heart, he got the cajones to fight K9 now. But he still ain’t got the heart to fight me.”
A young, green Canelo probably was steered clear of K9 in years gone by if that fight was ever proposed. Who stomps on the chicken before the golden egg has hatched? But the notion that the Canelo we have seen in his last two appearances against Lara and Alfredo Angulo, this confident and increasingly physical specimen would still be wary of K9 after his recent achievements, is a view quite difficult to prescribe to.
This seems more like a tactic on K9’s part to bait the young-gun into battle, but with Canelo otherwise engaged until after May 2nd, the Detroit native will most likely be mandated to defend his belt soon against another less preferable opponent, much to his lamentation.
“Remember this, I got the belt right. You only have a certain amount of time before you have to defend your belt. Now if I had all the time in the world then guess what, I would go out there to the Canelo fight and glove up. I would learn how to speak Spanish just to say ‘glove up, quit running from me.’ But I don’t have that much time.”