By Rick Scharmberg
Former reality show star Cornelius “K9” Bundrage notified FightNews that he has been released from his promotional contract with “The Contender”, and is now a promotional free agent. Bundrage (29-4, 17 KOs), of Detroit, Michigan is the top contender in the IBF junior middleweight rankings. He is rated number two, but the number one spot is vacant. The champion is Cory Spinks. “I am the mandatory to fight Cory Spinks. I fought three title eliminators already. What do I have to do to get the fight?” asked Bundrage. “Now that The Contender gave me my release, I am ready for the world of boxing. Junior middleweights, even welterweights, I’m ready for any of those guys,” he said.
Bundrage appeared on “The Contender: Season Two”, and his effort and personality helped make him a household name. When it was time to select teams, he was selected dead last. Bundrage vowed to go from “last to first”, stepped up and defeated Michael Clark in the first round of the preliminary round. He went on to win three of his four bouts on the show, losing only to Steve Forbes by decision in the semi-finals.
According to Bundrage, competing on The Contender has been both a blessing in terms of exposure, and also a curse. “They fight The Contenders as if we were still on The Contender. They get up for the fight like no other, and they expect bigger purses,” explained K9.
Still, it has been tough to get fights. “When they see that I’m ready, all of a sudden they’re not ready. When they know I’m not ready, that’s when my phone rings,” he said.
Bundrage has only fought once in 2009, and that fight, a no-decision against Yuri Foreman in an IBF title eliminator, lasted less than three rounds when an unintentional head butt left Foreman with a cut that led to the stoppage of the fight. “Yuri Foreman knew what was up,” said Bundrage. “I was catching up with him, and he took advantage of the cut and decided not to fight with it. He was smart.”
While waiting for his mandatory title fight, Bundrage said, “My dream fight would be against Shane Mosley. I really like him as a fighter. I saw him train when I was on The Contender. He works real hard, and I admire him.”
Now that K9 is a promotional free agent, he hopes that his phone will start to ring more often.