“K9” Bundrage and Yuri Foreman in No Contest in Atlantic City!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (July 7, 2009)    
Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, 29-4 (17), of Detroit, knew he was fighting the promoter’s fighter Saturday night, June 27th in Atlantic City. “I was sitting in the losers dressing room”, said Bundrage. That is what most promoters do by putting the opponents in one room and their fighters in another. That gives the opponents some incentive to show more when its fight time. His opponent Yuri Foreman, 27-0 (8), of Brooklyn, known as the “fighting Rabbi” in some circles may have gotten a break in spite of a nasty cut from an unintentional head butt that caused the fight to end at the end of the 3rd round and
be ruled a no contest.

Foreman stood right in front of Bundrage and fought his opponents fight. What he found was Bundrage was quicker than he thought and was able to pick off his jabs for the most part. “I believe as the fight would have progressed by the 6th or 7th round I would have overpowered him,” said Bundrage. “I was just working up a sweat when he caused the head butt,” he added. This fight was for the #1 spot in the IBF ratings and a title eliminator to meet the champion Cory Spinks. Bundrage should retain his #2 spot while Foreman, the #3 contender will probably need six months to heal. Bundrage coming out of this fight without a scratch is ready for Spinks now.

Foreman is a Top Rank fighter who at the end of 2007 won back to back split decisions over Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson and Andrey Tsurkan. In an earlier fight on the card Tsurkan lost every round to Olympian and #11 Vanes Martirosyan before it was halted at the end of the 6th round.

Both fighters hadn’t fought since December of 2008 when Bundrage traveled to Germany to defeat then unbeaten Zaurbek Baysangurov by a 5th round stoppage. Now The Contender’s 2006 winner Grady Brewer will be getting the IBO International Boxing Organizations title bout with Baysangurov in August in California. Foreman had beaten the Irish boxer James Moore in his last bout which was his second straight in Atlantic City. Most observers thought Foreman would run on Bundrage and win the way he usually does, by ugly decision. Bundrage seemed to have a good game plan in spite of the booing from the fans that started in the 1st round. He felt he would eventually wear down his opponent in the later rounds.

Even though Bundrage is 36, he is a young 36. With only 14 amateur fights he said, “God blessed me to stay in the gym and learn. I picked who I wanted to spar with.” From 1995 to 2005 he won his first 21 fights learning how to be patient. “I was told by my promoter Harley Brown if I scored a 1st round knockout he would give me $10,000.00,” said Bundrage. That was the same price as the purse. Being up against another tough unbeaten fighter in Sechew Powell, 15-0, he went right at him finding himself on the canvas and losing his first fight. “With that kind of a promise I went right after him which was a mistake,” said Bundrage.

It may have been a break for him because in Bundrage’s next fight he was in the 2006 The Contender tournament. “Jesus got me on The Contender,” said Bundrage. He would defeat Michael Clark, 35-3, and Walter Wright, 11-1. “Wright was a very good fighter,” said Bundrage. “I sat in the bus with the rest of the fighters and someone kept hitting me from behind with paper spitballs and I knew it was Wright. He paid for it in the ring,” added Bundrage. In the next fight he fought the former IBF super featherweight champion Steve Forbes, 31-3. “He hit me with pity pat punches and they gave him the decision,” added Bundrage. Wins followed over Chris “Mechanic” Smith, 20-3-1, and in a US against UK Contender event defeating Colin McNeil, 11-1 by stoppage in 2007.

“I had to lose 37 pounds in 3 weeks in the fight with Joel Julio, 31-1, and was drained by fight time,” said Bundrage. He would lose in the 8th round. In 2008 he would travel to Salamanca, New York, to defeat the promoter’s fighter and former IBF light middleweight champion Kassim Ouma, 25-4-1. “He would move the opposite way he was supposed to in fear of my right hand,” said Bundrage. This win was followed by a fight with Brewer in Providence as part of the Contender’s promotions. Bundrage lost a split decision. “Grady and I are good friends. I just talked to him the other day,” said Bundrage. “When I got the call to go to Germany I was still in good shape because the fights with Brewer and this one were only a month apart. I could get down to 147 for the right fight. I was 149 for The Contender,” said Bundrage. He is looking for a title fight in either weight class.

“My wife Shawana is my manager and expecting another son,” said Bundrage. They have a son Daishaun, 8, who we all saw in The Contender show. “God is real and I listen for Him to tell me what to do. He has kept me away from the wrong type of people,” he added. I asked if he was ever involved with the Kronk Gym. “I sparred there quite a bit and my trainer Javen “Sugar” Hill is Emmanuel Steward’s nephew. I asked how he got such a good build. “I would do 1,000 push-ups at the age of 11. I never lifted weights. My opponents look at my arms and think I am going to be slow and it surprises them when they find out how fast I am,” he added.

“You shouldn’t bark if you can’t bite,” said Bundrage. Famous from The Contender show for his bark and his nickname K9, he knows what he is talking about. He is a very likeable person who stays in touch with Brewer, Mike Stewart and others from past shows. If listening to God will be a key let’s hope Cory Spinks people are also listening and a title bout will finally become a reality for the K9!

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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