A Contender Update On K-9 And 2 Guns

By Tom Donelson
Updated: January 16, 2007


Cornelius "K-9" Bundrage

NEW YORK — Cornelius “K-9″ Bundrage looks like a European fighter, depending upon a left job followed by a solid right hand from a stand up position.

The Contender Series made “K-9″ a star with his compelling life story and of all of the Contender fighters, he appeared to have the most upside.

Going into the series, his biggest fight was a lost to Sechew Powell in a one round knock out. During the Contender, Bundrage won two close victories over Michael Clark and Walter Wright before losing a tough match to Steve Forbes.

He came back to knock out Norberto Bravo in the seventh round and established himself as a TV star. The Contender series build not just interest in boxing but stars.

First season stars Peter Manfredo, Jr. and Sergio Mora are still crowd pleasing fighters and close to fighting in championships. The jury is still out on whether either of these fighters are actually championship fighters but for the moment, they sell out arenas.

Bundrage is now hoping that lightening strikes for him and for his first post Contender fighter, he took on Chris “The Mechanic” Smith. Once a leading contender himself, Smith was fighting just to keep his career alive.

Smith’s nick name “The Mechanic” came from his ability to fight inside and in Bundrage, he was fighting an excellent outside fighter with limited skills fighting inside.

Being the smaller fighter, Smith wanted the inside territory and for the first two rounds, “K-9″ held most of the card as his jab kept Smith off-balanced.

Smith made some headway in the third round but the fourth round was a repeat of the first two rounds. Bundrage’s jab and right hand kept the distance between and his opponent.

In the fifth round, Smith inside attack began to take its toll as his body shots slowed Bundrage as well as closing the distance. In the sixth round, Smith’s attack nearly ended the fight as accurate punches sent Bundrage reeling to the rope.

Bundrage nearly became counted out but he managed to survive the round. There are times that a fighter needs to adjust to what is in front of him and Bundrage did just that.

With the fight even, he began to move as he forced Smith to reach for him. Using an effective jab and countering with his right hand, Bundrage took the lead.

His mobility allowed him to survive and build up a lead on two of the judges’ scorecard but the last round saw Smith returning to his sixth round form.

With a minute left, Smith took advantage of “K-9″ keeping his hand down and again had Bundrage in trouble. Bundrage showed one strength, the ability to adjust his game plan but he also showed his biggest weakness, his inability to fight inside.

Sometimes a fighter needs more than a jab or right hand. Bundrage does not have the complete package yet. At 33, he doesn’t have time to change his style or add new winkles to his style.

The other big fight featured Seattle’s Walter “2-Guns” Wright, another alumni of the Contender series. “2 Guns” does have the talent to move up.

While he has lost two of his first 15, Wright has more variety of punches when compared to “K-9″. His punches are accurate and he has boxing skills; skills he showed in spades against the undefeated Dan Wallace.

Wallace’s strategy was throw punches in bunches and hope that something hit its target. While Wallace showed more activity, he rarely hit his opponent whereas Wright hit Wallace at will.

The skill level difference was obvious as Wright rarely wasted punches and Wallace was in front to be hit. Wright’s biggest flaw is that he may not have the power to hurt the elite fighters but he does have solid boxing skills that will serve him well as he moves up.