|Cornelius Bundrage: “The Dog is coming!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Feb 1, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
You’ve seen him on ESPN and Showtime, you witnessed him competing with the blue team on the boxing series ‘The Contender’ and just weeks ago on EPSN Friday Night Fights the fight fans got another glimpse of the Michigan born boxer while he banged out his twenty-fifth win where he out pointed tough Jamaican Chris Smith taking home a hard fought split decision victory, now Cornelius Bundrage, 25-2 (14), better known as ‘K9’, wants the fight world to know that the Dog is coming!
Making his professional debut in September of 1995, the eleven year vet earned twenty-one consecutive victories, stopping thirteen opponents via knockout before going head-to-head with then-unbeaten Sechew Powell in May of 2005. What would transpire in that throw down was nothing less than bizarre. The two combatants simultaneously landed hooks on one another and both hit the deck, the two jumped up and went back to work, only for Bundrage to be dropped and in a wholehearted effort reached his feet but stumbled around the ring which
prompted the referee to call a halt to the bout at 0:22 seconds in the first round.
Eight months later the fight world would get to see the return of ‘K9’ when he participated in the second season of ‘The Contender’. Bundrage won two of his first bouts but was defeated unanimously by Steve Forbes in the semi-finals. He went on to earn ‘The Contender’ bronze medal by stopping Norberto Bravo in the seventh round of their scheduled eight round 150-pound clash. Now after defeating ‘The Mechanic’ on national television, the former UBA International light middleweight titleholder wants the names, the money and the fights that is takes to reach his goals.
See what ‘K9’ had to say on his recent win over Chris Smith, as he speaks on his future as well as who he wants to step in with, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off I would like to thank you for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing, your time and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Now to business, give the readers your thoughts on your recent hard earned victory over Chris Smith.
Cornelius Bundrage: I was happy to go ten rounds and to know that I can go ten rounds with somebody putting pressure on me. And to go ten rounds like I did wasn’t hard either, so know I know I can go ten, or twelve or if I have to fifteen with no problem. How they have it a split decision? That man didn’t win but three rounds. I won seven, I watched the fight, how did the judge have him winning?
BH: You were able to pick away at Smith working off your jab until about the sixth round when you were momentarily stunned, it appeared you decided to trade a bit, give us your thoughts on that round and the entire situation regarding your game plan.
CB: Looking at it a lot of people would say that I was hurt more than I was, I wasn’t all that hurt, it felt like something was in my eye and once my sight got blurry where I couldn’t see well he jumped on top of me and started throwing punches. That was what made it look worse than what it really was, but I came back the next round and showed him and everybody else that I wasn’t hurt as bad as everybody thought I was.
BH: Being brutally honest how stunned were you in the sixth and then again in the tenth round?
CB: Not one time did he hurt me, he came good and threw a lot of punches and everything, he had good pressure but he never did hurt me. I may have been stunned just a little bit, and I mean just a little bit, but I was never seriously hurt. He just had real good pressure and like I said my eye was blurry, I don’t know if his glove scratched my eye or whatever or if he had something on the glove but it felt like something was in my eye. But once I started blinking he noticed that I had blinked so he put the pressure on me and started throwing punches and he smothered me where punches was coming so many at a time I couldn’t hardly see, I was trying to get out of the way to get my room and he kept the pressure on me where I couldn’t get any room.
BH: With the showing you had and the outcome of the Chris Smith fight what statement do you feel was made about K9?
CB: That no matter what K9 is not going to give up. Even when you think you have him, you don’t have him unless you have him. (Laughs)
BH: How was your time on The Contender?
CB: I enjoyed being on The Contender, it gave me a chance to let people know how far I came from the point where I was at, and if it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be in the position I am in. I was happy to be on The Contender because a lot of the people that I grew up with they had the opportunities in life and they didn’t take advantage of it, and with my opportunity if other people and see that they can say if K9 can do it then I can do it, because I am no better than anybody else.
BH: How would you define your career up to this point?
CB: Boxing is a dirty sport because a lot of the people that are in it, I love boxing but I don’t like the business part of the shady people that is behind the scenes. You get promised a lot of lies, we going to do this and that for you and going into it, okay cool you see guys like Tyson, De La Hoya, Mayweather making all that money and you believe it, but shoot you have to work your way up to that point because people aren’t going to give you anything. They lie like I don’t know what, if it isn’t in ink than it doesn’t matter. I just hate the shady part of boxing; I wish we could correct that because I don’t want people to go through what I have gone through. I have been lied to so much it doesn’t feel real, which may be good because it keeps me humble.
BH: I’m not asking you to call anybody out, but then again if you want that’s cool with me, but is there any body in particular that you would like to step in with next, and to go even further with this question, what fight do you feel would be best for yourself and the fight world?
CB: You know I would love to fight Gatti, if Arturo Gatti were still fighting I think that would be a good fight. Shoot, I’ll fight the winner or loser between Mayweather and De La Hoya, anybody with a name because I want to prove that I am one of the best fighters out here today. It is like when the competition picks up, I pick up.
BH: How about a Contender rematch between you and Steve Forbes?
CB: I don’t know about Steve, one thing about me I don’t hold any grudges, if they say he won and if he won then he won. I am not looking forward to a rematch with him because he said he was going to fight at 140, he said he wasn’t going to fight me again because he was fighting at 140 and once he said that I wasn’t to worried about it. I really want to fight guys that is going to generate a fan base, where people want to see the fight, but I also want to make sure the reward is as good as the fight.
BH: Is there any message you would like to send out to the fight world?
CB: Keep God first, I just want people to know to keep God first, never give up on what you are pursuing, and stay focused or don’t bark if you can’t bite.
BH: What is next for K9?
CB: We have some big fights coming up, maybe one overseas, but I would love to fight Arturo Gatti or Ricky Hatton.
BH: Anything you would like to add or say in closing of this interview?
CB: I want to say R.I.P. to my sister, I want to say what’s up to my brother that is locked up, I don’t know if he got to watch the fight but that fight was for him as well. You know my wife is my manager, so I want to say thanks to her for hanging in there. And if you can tell the world that my son Daishaun is going to be the next Contender (Laughs). And I want to say that my last victory was also for the haters, there are a lot of people out there that is jealous of me for being on The Contender, some don’t want me to win, I want them to respect me, because my name is big, I can draw in the fans. Tell my family at The Contender to stay in touch, and the dog is coming!
I’d like to thank Mike Levy for hooking up this interview, and a thanks goes out to ‘K9’ for his time and thoughts.
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