By: Matthew N. Becher
Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (34-5 19KO) is a 2 time Jr. Middleweight world champion and currently holds the IBF version of the title. He is set to face Jermall Charlo (21-0 16KO), on September 12th from Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. This will be Bundrage’s first title defense as his second run as champion and will be broadcasted as a lead up fight, through Premier Boxing Champions, to the Mayweather vs. Berto Pay Per View, later in the evening.
K9 was nice enough to take some time out of his training schedule to talk with us at Boxing Insider and answer a few questions.
Boxing Insider: This fight was postponed from an earlier date, due to a cut over your left eye in sparring. How is your eye healing at the moment?
Bundrage: It’s all good, 100%. I am ready to go.
Boxing Insider: Since the fight was postponed, it will end up being eleven months since you got your title back and were last in the ring. Are you concerned about ring rust at all?
Bundrage: No, of course not. I stay ready. As long as you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.
Boxing Insider: Your opponent Jermall Charlo is undefeated, he is practically young enough to be your son and he is training with one of the best Jr. Middleweights in the world, Erislandy Lara. What do you have that this guy doesn’t?
Bundrage: The Title! A lot of people want that. Each and every guy wants what I got. It’s like when I wanted it and had to get it from the last guy who had it. But right now, I got it, and it ain’t going anywhere.
Boxing Insider: Does Charlo possess anything that you see that could give you problems in the ring? Any particular attributes that make him stand out above the rest?
Bundrage: Nah. I’ve been here plenty of times, I’ve done saw everything. I’ve been boxing for over twenty years. I’ve been doing this for a nice minute, and I’ve been from gym to gym with the warriors at Krunk (gym). From this fighter to that fighter I’ve been everywhere. I have been in other guys countries and I took care of business. Nothing he can really do that I haven’t seen before. I just have to worry about being the best that I can be. You just put it in God’s hands and you just go from there.
Boxing Insider: You are 42 years old, and currently the oldest reigning champion. How much longer do you plan on fighting?
Bundrage: I am the oldest Jr. Middleweight champion of All Time, and I’m the oldest current Champion right now. I don’t really know when I’ll stop, I’ll just let God be the judge of that. When He says it’s over then it’s over, when he says it’s time to go. From a boxing career or when it’s time to go to heaven, that’s up to him. I started boxing at a later age, so I’m able to do the things I do at 42, because I never had that wear and tear on my body. I’m a young 42, more like 24, because I take care of my body. I don’t smoke, drink, or go to the club.
Boxing Insider: You’re a 2x world champion. Do you have any more goals left in the sport? What is left to chase for you?
Bundrage: I just want people to know that with God, all things are possible. I want God to keep shining his light on me and I want people to see that you don’t have to sell out, you don’t have to sell your soul. If you just be patient and put your trust in God. I just want people to say “man, God was real”. Watching my career and watching how I came up and seeing how nobody gave me nothing. Every single fight I’ve been counted out, but I came through every time. So I guess the goal now is to just save my money up, and continue to help other fighters and continue to help my community.
Boxing Insider: Who are some fighters you might like to match your skills against in the future?
Bundrage: I would like the Floyd fight more than anybody. You have to remember out of the whole state of Michigan, we only have two champions right now. That’s Floyd and Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. We have a lot of history, trust me, a whole lot of history. If he comes back for that 50th fight, I can almost guarantee it’s most likely to be against me. If you go back and look at the history, of the fights when I fought on Showtime in 2013 and you’ll see the history that we have.
There are a lot of interesting fights for me. We had a good shot at landing the Miguel Cotto fight, but it just didn’t match up at the time. I think that fight could work out great in the future if he beats Canelo. I’m not going to chase Canelo, he had a chance to fight me plenty of times. I just want to do some big things for the remainder of my career, fight the best, not just guys up and coming, but guys that have been at my level, who have done their thing.
Boxing Insider: You have been a professional fighter for twenty years. If you could, right now, what advice would you give your 22 year old self?
Bundrage: Keep God first. Don’t give up. Keep Punching. Keep Training. All things are possible with God. Hang in there, never give up and never let someone tell you what you can or can’t do. It can be done. You have to have faith and you have to have heart. You gotta work, you gotta believe and you got to trust God.