Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:21

Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara: Can 41 year old "K-9" Bundrage hang?

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Last night at the Grand Oasis Resort in Cancun, Mexico, Cornelius "K-9" Bundrage (34-5, 19 KOs) overcame the odds to capture the IBF Junior Middleweight Championship from former title holder "King" Carlos Molina (22-6-2, 6 KOs) by way of a surprisingly wide unanimous decision.

The 41 year old Detroit native won with scores of 117-106, 117-109, and 117-110, flooring the Mexican national in stanzas one and ten in the twelve round championship contest.

Leading into Saturday's main event, the former "Contender" star was listed as a 3 to 1 underdog, largely due to Molina's awkward style and impressive showings against top level competitors, Kermit Cintron, Erislany Lara, Ishe Smith, and Cory Spinks.

Discarding the controversial disqualification loss to James Kirkland in March of 2012, the overwhelming crowd favorite had not lost a bout since February of 2007, while still competing as an eight round fighter.

But the betting odds didn't seem to influence the hard punching challenger's game plan, which was to hurt the incumbent champ early and often.

To start the IBF title fight, K-9 established range by using an effective jab and lateral movement. The former Emanuel Steward protégé greatly influenced Molina's tenacity by landing clean, effective punches while the reigning title holder was trying to maneuver his way into close range.


At the 00:34 mark of the opening round, Bundrage caught Molina with a short, compact right hand that floored the Mexican favorite.

Although the incumbent IBF title holder beat the referee's count to continue to the fight, the knock down seemed to drastically alter the fight strategy of the former Chi-Town resident for the remainder of the bout.


The customarily obstinate aggressor, seemed tentative after hitting the canvas, and consequently becoming respectful of K-9's power.

Round after round, Bundrage proved to be the ring general while landing the cleaner, more effective shots from mid to long range. Each stanza became a carbon copy of the previous round with K-9 doing the much better work throughout.

When the final bell had sounded, there was little doubt who had won the contest.

The Detroit underdog had once again picked up the IBF Junior Middleweight title and possibly punched his ticket to bigger and better paydays.

So at age 41, can the newly crowned IBF champ compete against the top fighters of the talented 154 pound division?

While most boxing pundits would heavily favor former WBC/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez, current Super WBA title holder Erislandy Lara, and incumbent WBO champ Demetrius Andrade in head to head match-ups with Bundrage, it's difficult to completely discount the Motor City underdog because of the power and experience he brings to the ring.

Like Carlos Molina discovered in last night's main event from Cancun, Mexico, power can alter any fighter's game plan and become the ultimate neutralizer with one clean shot.

Through process of elimination, current WBA title holder and Cuban exile Erislandy Lara seems to be the most probable match-up for the newly crowned IBF champ.


Golden Boy Promotions has its sights set on a massive PPV event between Canelo and Cotto for May of 2015, while Banner Promotions and Star Boxing are currently in negotiations with Showtime Sports and adviser Al Haymon to schedule a pairing between Andrade and highly ranked contender Jermell Charlo on December 13.

So who would reign supreme in a proposed unification bout between Bundrage and Lara?

Hopefully the answer will be revealed in 2015.
 

 

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