"I want Canelo because he comes to fight. I'm 39 years old, and I'm tired of chasing these guys in the ring. I'm getting rusty fighting once a year, and you know the cost of oil now. This ain't about the money. I'm a champion calling out champions...Now that I'm a free agent, Golden Boy said they were interested again and that's why they bid on the IBF purse for my fight with Cory Spinks. I don't believe in voodoo, but look at how many other fights have fallen through. It seems like it's going to happen with me and Canelo, if you ask me...I wore Mexican colors, if you'd noticed, to promote the fight with me and Canelo. That's the reason I had that on. You're next Canelo. He wasn't even in the building, but I'm sniffing him out. He's around. He's close. I'll bet he wants to fight me more than Golden Boy wants him to fight me," stated IBF jr. middleweight champion Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, who is eager to close a deal to unify his title with WBC jr. middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on September 15th. Check out what else he had to say about his recent victory, a potential clash with Alvarez, and much more.
DK: Champ, what's going on? Congrats on the huge win Saturday night.
CB: Thanks; very excited and happy. The future is going to be great.
DK: Talk about the fight for a minute. Same result as the first time; you knocking out Cory Spinks.
CB: This fight, I was better prepared than the first. I over-trained the first fight. I didn't train to fight him that way, but thank God I was able to put on the same performance with the same result.
DK: Was there any difference at all that you saw in him this time around?
CB: He was more determined this time around. The first time, I think he thought he had it in the bag. In his hometown, he was champ. He underestimated me. The second time, he was more prepared. I heard his manager spent a couple hundred thousand to help prepare him for the fight. I heard he went to a psychiatrist to make sure his mind was right, a personal trainer, and a masseuse. I even heard something about a bonus if he won. He came better prepared and the fight lasted longer. I took my hat off to him. I do think he has something left, but styles make fights, and I think I got his number. I think he'll do well against other fighters and other champions though.
DK: The focus now turns to your next opponent. Canelo and his team still haven't announced who he will be facing on September 15th. Has anyone contacted you or Emanuel Steward about the fight?
CB: Emanuel tells me it's still possible. I put it in God's hands. Emanuel is in Austria, so there is a 7-hour time difference. I would like to talk to him more, but that time difference is tough right now. I don't know if he's talked to Golden Boy or not. I texted him earlier, but I'll put it in God's hands. I did just fight on Showtime, I was signed with no one, and I was the main event. It was a very good card also. [Erislandy] Lara and [Gary] Russell are both good fighters, and I was the main event. I felt like I was finally treated as the champion that I am. I look forward to big things in 2012 and 2013.
DK: Give the fans your best pitch as to why you should be the one to fight Canelo on September 15th.
CB: Because I paid my dues more in the jr. middle division than any other fighter. My name is ringing harder than ever right now, especially after Saturday night. I have millions of fans. If you put on The Contender Season 2, and me being the champ of the world now, I have millions of fans worldwide. I am a crowd-pleasing champion. It would be a good fight because I don't come just for a payday. To be honest, I'm not the boxing type of fighter. I stand in there and trade. At 39 years old, I can't see why a fighter that's considered the next Golden Boy, I don't know why he wouldn't want to fight me and unify. Even I saw some things in my performance against Cory Spinks that I would want to fight me because I saw some openings. I threw some wide shots. Guys like Lara are high risk, low reward. Me, I'm high reward because I'm a champion and he can unify the belts and become the man at jr. middleweight. The same goes for me. As a promoter, you should see that. I have fans that don't even like boxing that became fans when they saw me on The Contender. I'm a big name everywhere. I can help sell pay-per-views in Europe and Asia because I'm a huge name over there also. I just feel like it's my time. God has my back. If you want to see a good fight, who else is out there? He needs to step to the plate and unify. If he wins, he's the WBC and IBF champ. That would make him the #1 guy. I want to fight the guy that everyone knows so everyone knows me also. I'm still K9. Before it was the Super Six, it was K9 from the Contender. It makes the most sense.
DK: If Canelo doesn't happen, another name that is a strong possibility is Erislandy Lara, who fought on the undercard. He is a very dangerous fighter and Showtime seemed to be trying to set that fight up after your knockout win by showing him on the screen. Lara is rumored to have just signed with Al Haymon, but he is also promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Has anyone contacted you or your team about a Lara fight?
CB: I just read a thing one time trying to put together something like that, but I'm not interested in fighting no southpaws. I've been fighting southpaws the last 3 years. Unless it's a big name, I don't want no more southpaws. It doesn't make sense for me to fight someone who nobody knows. It's a high risk, low reward fight. I have no problems beating Lara, but he doesn't have a belt. Showtime had him in the ring after I won the fight and I saw what they were trying to do. I'm not trying to sign with Golden Boy Promotions to fight Lara. I want the big dogs; the top dogs. If you want me to fight a southpaw, go get me Manny Pacquiao or Sergio Martinez. With this belt, I don't need to do nothing but keeping winning, keep staying patient, and trusting in God. I'm not desperate to fight Alvarez. They are throwing Alvarez out to guys like he is a piece of steak because they can get paid, but I'm not desperate. I don't mind fighting Cotto either later in the year. I'm in a good position. In Detroit, I'm rich. so I'm in the driver's seat. I'm about to go buy me a new car. I'm about to take a trip. I'm feeling really good. I'm off the Don King contract; I'm free at last.
DK: That's another thing that nobody seems to know about is your contract status. Are you still technically signed with Don King, or are you a free agent?
CB: Yes, I'm done with Don King. Life goes on. I shook his hand and we went our separate ways. I was so mad at Don King and I thought I was going to have so much animosity toward him, but now that I'm out of the contract, I'm happy and have no bad feelings. I wish him the best. Another thing, Dave, is that I think Canelo is a better fighter than people give him credit for. He was willing to fight Paul Williams or James Kirkland. Those are no walks in the park. I'm not trying to fight him just to get paid. I want him because he is a top level fighter and he's a champion. I'm trying to unify. I'm the best name available. I just headlined Showtime and it makes sense because he is fighting on Showtime. Austin Trout just had a chance, and Canelo was in the crowd, but his fight wasn't crowd-pleasing. In my fight, I stopped him. To me, that makes more sense. Plus, they can afford me. I'm not trying to rob the bank, and it's a unification bout. Not stepping on anyone's toes, but that makes sense. I fought once a year in my contract with Don King. To still have some more money in my pocket, and to still be champion, I'm good. It's in God's hands now.
DK: Not to keep harping on this, but because Showtime really seemed to try and pump up the fight, if Golden Boy offered enough money, is Lara a fight you would be interested in?
CB: I don't want to fight Lara. It's not about Lara. I just don't want to see southpaws anymore. Lara would definitely make for a difficult fight. He's a boxer. I want a fighter. If it's not Pacquiao or Sergio Martinez, I'd even fight Kirkland because he comes forward and wants to fight. I want Canelo because he comes to fight. I'm 39 years old, and I'm tired of chasing these guys in the ring. I'm getting rusty fighting once a year, and you know the cost of oil now. This ain't about the money. I'm a champion calling out champions. Lara should call me out because he's a contender and he is trying to get that belt. I think Lara should fight Ishe Smith. I saw an interview where Smith is calling him out and asking who has Lara beaten? Even though people think he beat Paul Williams, he still lost on the scorecards. I didn't get to see his fight Saturday, but Andre Berto knocked out his opponent [Freddy Hernandez] on Saturday in the first round. Carlos Molina was a draw, but he lost that fight. Beat somebody. Go beat Ishe Smith or give Molina a rematch. Go get a belt and then it would make sense. Don't try to come up off what I did. I was being promoted as a contender. I'm champ of the world now. I'm not letting nobody use me for the next person. Money isn't everything. If I make the wrong decision and lose a fight, I'm kicking myself in the head. My manager, Emanuel, doesn't even want the Lara fight because what can he bring? Sometimes, you are danged if you don't, and danged if you do. He's a good fighter, no question, but not having the right fighter can mess you up. He should have fought Shane Mosley. You don't see Golden Boy triyng to fight Lara with Canelo. Lara is the #1 contender. They are trying to protect Canelo. I respect that, but why am I different? I have to protect myself also. My manager said Golden Boy was trying to sign me with Canelo, but Don King was tryng to have options on Canelo. Now that I'm a free agent, Golden Boy said they were interested again and that's why they bid on the IBF purse for my fight with Cory Spinks. I don't believe in voodoo, but look at how many other fights have fallen through. It seems like it's going to happen with me and Canelo if you ask me.
DK: Champ, as always, we appreciate the time and hope to see you back in the ring as soon as possible. Let us know if anything pops.
CB: No question. I'm crowd-pleasing, just like the word, I Fight Hype.
DK: (Laughing) Alright my man, any final thoughts out there to the fans?
CB: Tune in in September because it's gonna be a great night for K9 Bundrage. I wore Mexican colors, if you'd noticed, to promote the fight with me and Canelo. That's the reason I had that on. You're next Canelo. He wasn't even in the building, but I'm sniffing him out. He's around. He's close. I'll bet he wants to fight me more than Golden Boy wants him to fight me. Shane Mosley prepared him well for someone like me. My people can reach me on Twitter and Facebook at K9Boxing. The bark is loud. The bite is vicious. Just remember, Dave, I Fight Hype! Jesus 4 Life.