Cornelius “K9” Bundrage Interview: I finally got my title shot with Spinks! By Ken Hissner (Jan 23, 2010) DoghouseBoxing
“I finally got my title shot with Spinks”, said Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. It was a welcome call from the man I watched on the Contender and met in Atlantic City after the Yuri Foreman fight in June of last year. He is the top ranked IBF contender at #2, with the #1 slot not rated.
K9 has excited watchers in and out of the ring. He is a throwback to the characters of the past! At age 36 he has paid his dues and on March 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada, he will challenge the IBF light middleweight champion Cory Spinks, 37-5 (11). Bundrage, 29-4 (17) was most gracious in giving me a Q&A interview about how he got to where he is today, the “challenger”!
KEN HISSNER: You are rated #2 in the IBF and in no other ratings. You beat Zaurbek Baysangurov the end of 2008 and could only get one fight in 2009. Yet, he is rated #3 in the WBA and #7 in the WBC? Do you think its politics?
K9: Either that or he’s got a good manager and promoter. I just signed with Manny Steward to be my manager. I no longer have a promoter to tie me down.
KH: On the Contender tournament you defeated Michael Clark and Walter Wright, but lost to former champion Steve Forbes. What were your thoughts on that decision?
K9: I defeated two very good fighters in Clark and Wright and thought I beat Forbes.
KH: As part of the Contender promotions you defeated Norberto Bravo and then highly touted Chris Smith. How tough was the Smith fight? (K9 won a split decision)
K9: It was a tough fight and I thought that fight would have gotten me a title bout.
KH: What it got you was a trip to the UK with a team of “Contenders” vs the UK. You defeated Colin McNeil, 11-1, stopping him in the 7th round. How was the trip in general?
K9: The people were better to me there than here. They kept barking and calling “K9”!
KH: Then you lose to red hot Joel Julio, 31-1, in Hollywood, of all places.
K9: I had to lose 37 pounds in 3 weeks to get that fight. By the 8th round I was exhausted.
KH: You win a fight by knockout then defeat the former IBF light middleweight champion Kassim “The Dream” Ouma, 25-4-1, but don’t fight again for 8 months. Why?
KH: As part of the Contenders promotion you next meet the winner of the Contenders Grady Brewer, 23-11 in May of 2008 in a IBO title eliminator. I did a story on him and I know you are friends.
K9: I did not want that fight because we are friends. When they announced the split decision in favor of him it didn’t even bother me.
KH: A month to the day you are in Germany fighting the European champion then unbeaten, 19-0, Baysangurov and stop him in the 5th round.
K9: That wasn’t supposed to happen as far as they were concerned. The people were very good to me over there.
KH: You don’t fight for 6 months and are matched with the current WBA champion Yuri Foreman, 27-0, in Atlantic City last June. I was there and thought he caused the head clash though by accident.
K9: And 6 months later he’s fighting Daniel Santos for the WBA title and wins! At this time that is not the fight I wanted. The Spinks fight is the one that I wanted. I’m not totally sure where the fight will be but they may tie it in with a Devon Alexander-Juan Urango twin bill. (Looks like Vegas and not St. Louis)
KH: Who is training you now Manny?
K9: No, he is now my manger. Javen Hill trains me at the Kronk Gym.
KH: Is there anything you want to say in closing?
K9: The spirit of God is with me. I’ve been blessed by the best!
KH: To that we ended the conversation and I said “amen, brother”.
K9 only had about 14 amateur fights so he has been learning on the job since 1995 winning his first 21 fights. Odd thing is he loses and gets to participate on the Contender in his next fight! The rest of it is history. This is one genuine person who excites people when he is around. Spinks is not known to excite people when he’s in the ring so it seems K9 is just what is needed to make a good fight. He and his wife Shawana have a 2 year old son Omnae. He also has an older son Daishaun who is 8. Considering I did this interview on the side of the road, I hope I got those names right.
In Spinks case his career has been on a roller coaster career. He’s called “the Next Generation” being the son of the former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, and nephew to the former world light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Michael Spinks. He goes to Italy and loses to then IBF welterweight champion Michele Piccirillo but in a return bout in Italy he wins the title! He goes on to defeat the WBA/WBC champion Zab Judah only to lose to him in a rematch. He defeats Roman Karmizan for the IBF light middleweight title and challenges then WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor and almost pulls off the upset losing a split decision. He then defends his title and loses to Verno Phillips by split decision. Then he wins the vacant IBF title defeating Deandre Latimore in an all St. Louis battle in April of 2009 by split decision and has yet to fight again.
So it will be “K9” vs “The Next Generation” on March 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada.