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December 25, 2012

By Doveed Linder

IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius ďK-9Ē Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs) discusses his upcoming fight with Ishe Smith, which will take place in his hometown of Detroit, MI at the Joe Louis Arena on February 23rd, and will be televised on Showtime. 

DL: For a while, you were contemplating opponents such as Andre Berto and Austin Trout.  How did it come to be that you are now facing Ishe Smith and how do you feel about this?
Cornelius Bundrage: I wanted to defend my title in my hometown of Detroit, Michigan.  We havenít had a world champion fight in my home city, from my home city, since Tommy Hearns.  I thought it would be big for the city.  I thought it would be good for the economy for the city and for the state of Michigan.  The Red Wings are out for the season, so I thought it would be good.  And Ishe Smith is just the guy we picked. 
DL: You had been calling out all the big names at junior middleweight, but youíre fighting Ishe Smith who is considered a high risk-low reward type of opponent.  How do you feel about that?
CB: The Bible says, ďAsk and you shall receive.Ē  I called out all the big dogs and the big dogs didnít respond.  I understand why, because Iím the biggest dog of all the big dogs.  (begins barking like a dog).  Ishe Smith is a good, durable fighter.  I didnít want to handpick anybody like Canelo does.  Whether itís a high risk-low reward fight or not, I just feel like this is a good fight.  Heís one of Floyd Mayweatherís fighters.  Iím giving his guy a shot, so hopefully heíll give me a shot.
DL: It looks like Floyd will be fighting Robert Guerrero.  What are your thoughts on that fight?  
CB: ďThe GhostĒ is a Christian, so Iím always for the Christian.  Floyd is one of the best fighters of all time, but you can never doubt a Christian.  I just want to see good fights, whether itís me and Ishe Smith, or Floyd and Guerrero.  Whoever it is.  Berto and ďThe GhostĒ was a good fight.  I just want to see some good fights.  I want boxing to be back to what it was.
DL: What is your wish list for 2013?
CB: For Godís will to be done.  If it was my way, it wouldnít be the right way.  I just want Godís will to be done.  He knows whatís best for me.  Evidentallly, what I wanted wasnít right for me.  Thatís why I havenít gotten it yet.  His will will be done and Iím looking forward to 2013.  Iím just happy and excited about my future.  Iím in a whole other world, man.  I have two kids and itís fun to see them get older.  Itís going to be fun to see them open their presents.  I bought my wife a car for Christmas.  Itís been a good Christmas.  God is good.  
DL: When speaking about your life in Biblical terms, you often say, ďThe first shall be last and the last shall be first.Ē  What does that mean?
CB: If you saw Season 2 of ďThe ContenderĒ, which was the best season that came out, I was the last one chosen to be on the show.  But I remembered the scripture ďThe first shall be last and the last shall be first.Ē  I was the first one to fight and the first one to win.  And of everyone on that season, Iím the only one who has become a world champion.  Out of all the champions today, Iím being overlooked.  If you look at the ratings, theyíve got guys rated higher than me.  But the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  With God, all things are possible.  With those guys throwing them devil horns up, theyíre not going to beat me.  When God is with you, nothing can beat you.  Tell Ishe Smith to quit being so mad.  Heís always saying, ďWhy do I always have to fight on ESPN?  Why donít I ever get my shot?  Why am I always being overlooked?Ē  Well, nobodyís overlooking you anymore.  And I want to wish all of my friends, family, fans, and Boxingtalk a Merry Christmas! 

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