By Keith Idec
There are indications Cornelius Bundrage won’t face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sept. 15, but Bundrage believes their junior middleweight unification fight will happen.
“I believe that I’m going to get the fight with Canelo,” Bundrage said before Friday’s weigh-in for his IBF 154-pound title defense against Cory Spinks on Saturday night in Indio, Calif. (9 p.m. EDT/PDT; Showtime). “Even though he was going to fight this guy and that guy, you see nothing’s gone through. I think God has said that me and Canelo are going to fight. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop that, if that’s what God said.”
Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer hasn’t said who’ll replace Victor Ortiz as Alvarez’s opponent, but he told BoxingScene.com on Friday that Alvarez’s opponent has been chosen and will be announced next week. Bundrage lobbied for the opportunity anyway.
“It’d be ‘The Black Rocky’ versus ‘Golden Boy Jr.,’ ” Bundrage said. “It’d be a good one. Mexicans, they come to fight. Me being ‘The Black Rocky,’ I come to fight. I just think it would be one of those great fights, the Rocky Marciano-Mike Tyson fight you never saw. And I mean the Mike Tyson in his prime.”
Even if he doesn’t square off against Alvarez on Sept. 15 at MGM Grand, Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC) hopes to challenge the emerging Mexican star at some point.
“Canelo’s a good fighter,” Bundrage said. “Even a shadow of [Shane] Mosley, out of his prime, is still a good fighter. Alfonso Gomez, who we saw on Season One of ‘The Contender,’ [Alvarez] showed he could weather the storm and beat him. He fought one of my friends, Lanardo Tyner, who’s from Detroit and is a really tough guy, a real good fighter, and he beat him.”
Alvarez won’t turn 22 until July 18, but he already has more professional fights under on his record (41) than the 39-year-old Bundrage (36), who began his career in September 1995, when Alvarez was 5. Bundrage is certain he can become the first fighter to defeat Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs), but he has a lot of respect for Alvarez’s ascent to the top of the 154-pound division.
“They didn’t give him that green belt for nothing,” Bundrage said. “He’s not talked about as Golden Boy’s [star] for nothing. And they don’t have all this money invested in him for nothing. He’s a good fighter. He turned pro, I think, at 15 years old. I mean, how many people you know can turn pro at 15 and then become a world champion before he even turned 21? He’s 41-0 at the age of 21, so they can what they want to say about him, but he’s a good fighter.
“But Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage is a good fighter, too. I ain’t champion for nothing. … I’ve put in the work, I’ve put in the time and I just feel like I’m due for it. I’ve brought a lot of fans to boxing. People can say what they want to say, but they know who Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage is. I’ve brought a lot of fans to boxing [through ‘The Contender’] and I feel like I deserve my just due, the big fights. Not just a big fight, but the big fights, with an ‘s’ on the end.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.