CORNELIUS ‘K9’ BUNDRAGE became the oldest man to win a world title in the 154lb division when he outpointed titleholder Carlos Molina in October this year at Grand Oasis in Cancun. Bundrage dropped Molina twice in the fight en route to a unanimous decision to become a two-time IBF light-middleweight champion. ‘K9’ does not have a first defence scheduled, but the champion is well aware that he is a fighter in demand.
Following his demolition of Lenny Bottai on the Khan-Alexander undercard, Jermall Charlo publicly called out Bundrage, but the IBF champion feels strongly that he has already accepted, and defeated, this type of challenge a number of times in the past.
“I want to fight the big names – no disrespect, but I’ve beat the young undefeated guys I wasn’t expected to and the old former champions; I beat Zaurbek Baysangurov (then 19-0) in Germany and I’ve also beaten the old [in former IBF light-middleweight champion] Kassim Ouma. I’ve been there, done that.”
Bundrage is ready to prove that there is plenty of life in the old dog yet as he hopes to face the elite of the light-middleweight division.
“I want any of the top, top guys out there – whoever has the best resume. I’m ready for the best: Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley.”
Bradley recently declared an interest in moving up in weight to the light-middleweight division after his contentious split decision draw with Diego Chaves and this is certainly a fight that interests the 41-year-old Bundrage.
“I know there’s Timothy Bradley out there talking about moving up – I’d give him the opportunity. Bradley and I have the styles, we fight and we have the physiques – I can imagine that fight. We haven’t begun any discussions but people on Facebook and Twitter want it!”
However, the champion does not plan on waiting around for his next challenge, insisting ‘‘Don’t bark if you can’t bite. The sky’s the limit for me now, I will fight whoever, whenever if it’s what people want.’’
Bundrage believes that the marquee names in the sport have avoided him in recent years, claiming, ‘‘Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya have been talking [about] K9, but it’s like I say ‘don’t wait, create’.”
Ever the self-publicist and not lacking in confidence, Bundrgae believes he has the beating of Alvarez.
‘‘I would take Canelo to school! He’d be the student; I’d be the teacher. I’m the champion.’’
Before a big fight can happen next year, Bundrage is targeting a stay-busy ‘‘first defence in February, or even late January. That’s the plan.’’
Reflecting on an excellent 2014, the IBF light-middleweight champion stated ‘‘I honestly think the Carlos Molina victory was my best win because everyone had written me off saying ‘there’s no way K9 will be a two-time world champion’ – Molina was already hoping to fight Floyd and Canelo!’’
The two-time champion enters 2015 on a high with a number of willing contenders, including unbeaten Briton Liam Smith, ready and willing to challenge Bundrage for his IBF crown.
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