By Jackie Kallen
Tonight on FOX Sports, 40 year-old Cornelius (K9) Bundrage will dig deep and try to put his career back on track. Despite his age, he has no plans to sit on the porch and watch the younger pups chase cars.
After losing his IBF Junior Middleweight title to Ishe Smith a year ago, he has been regrouping and working on getting back what he lost. Losing his title in his own backyard was not what he had planned and it hasn’t set well with K9. Prior to the loss to Smith, he hadn’t lost in five years. He doesn’t like the feeling.
Facing 23-1-1 Joe Hernandez is a step in the right direction. Though Hernandez has a good record and hasn’t lost a fight in three years, he hasn’t fought top opposition. On the plus side, he is only 29 and is a southpaw. His punching power is about the same as K9’s but the difference comes in their targets.
Bundrage has stopped guys like Cory Spinks and Norberto Bravo. Hernandez’s last KO victim was 12-6 Brandon Baue, 14 months ago. Bundrage is on a different level than Hernandez is used to. But will that spark the underdog to rise to the occasion?
The winner of tonight’s fight is in line for an IBF title fight. That is the reason they took the fight. It certainly wasn’t for the money. Golden Boy won the purse bid for a mere $11,000. Bundrage gets 60%, Hernandez gets 40%. The ultimate prize here is the chance for that championship belt.
Hernandez has said that he believes Bundrage is near the end of the line. This is a big step for Hernandez and he plans to capitalize on it.
The co-main event is also a good one. 26 year-old undefeated welterweight Antonio Orozco (18-0) will face journeyman Miguel Angel Huerta. The 35 year-old Huerta has lost three out his last four bouts, but will be a credible test for Orozco. From Mexico, Huerta always comes to fight. He is a southpaw who has been in with guys like Julio Diaz and Mike Alvarado.
Orozco is being touted as a real prospect so he is worth watching. As an amateur, he beat the likes of Jesse Vargas and Javier Molina. Can he beat the best in his weight class as a pro? That’s what fans are hoping for. He has stopped 11 of his 15 opponents and has shown that he has both power and speed.
Tonight will be a good night to light a fire, make some popcorn, and sit down in front of the TV and watch the boxers put on a show. It will definitely heat up in the ring.