Cornelius Bundrage joins Golden Boy

Updated: October 17, 2012, 10:37 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Free agent junior middleweight titleholder Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, hoping for a major fight in the 154-pound division, has signed a multifight promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions.

Bundrage, who signed Tuesday during a visit to Golden Boy's Los Angeles offices, had been with Don King. But under King, Bundrage was chronically inactive because King only put him in his annual mandatory defense, and he was making low five-figure purses. When his most recent mandatory was due, a rematch with former titlist Cory Spinks, from whom Bundrage won his title via fifth-round knockout in August 2010, Golden Boy made an aggressive purse bid to win rights to the fight even though it did not have promotional contracts with either fighter.

Golden Boy's bid of $211,011 was much bigger than the $51,000 offered by King. The fight wound up as a main event on a Golden Boy Showtime date in June and Bundrage knocked Spinks out in the seventh round to retain his title for the second time.

Bundrage said he was appreciative of Golden Boy's efforts in bidding on the fight and said he did not forget that when it came time to sign with a promoter.

"When they picked up that fight with me and Cory Spinks I was really happy with that," Bundrage told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "They came and picked up that fight and I got six figures and I was the main event and not even signed with Golden Boy. I never forgot that. That showed they had interest in me."

Bundrage said other promoters showed interest in him after the fight with Spinks but that Golden Boy was the right fit for him.

"50 Cent had reached out to me, trying to sign me up," Bundrage said. "I had a lot of promoters trying to match me up. Top Rank was looking to match me up with Vanes Martirosyan. I even heard the Klitschkos (K2 Promotions) was trying to catch up with me.

"It was a decision (to sign with Golden Boy) that me and my wife made. We decided that they were the best ones for us. They promoted the fight with Spinks. Before that my fights weren't even airing on TV. People were going to YouTube. Then I went on TV in that fight and it got my name buzzing. They flew my wife and two kids out to Los Angeles. It was first class. They treated us real good."

The 39-year-old Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs), of Detroit, said he received a signing bonus but declined to say how much.

"They did look out for me," he said. "Christmas came early this year."

Now that he is signed, Bundrage, who made a name for himself as a contestant on the 2006 season of "The Contender" reality series, said he is looking for a big fight, and Golden Boy is deep in the 154-pound division. It promotes titleholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, contenders Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo. It also works closely with Miguel Cotto and pound-for-pound king and titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Like every fighter in and around the division, Bundrage would love a shot at Mayweather but he really has eyes for Alvarez.

"You know who I was looking for -- he got red hair and he looks like Woody Woodpecker," Bundrage said. "I want Canelo. I don't think that Canelo wants to fight me. He would rather fight Floyd, a bigger fight and a smaller guy. But that's the fight I want."

Bundrage said Golden Boy told him his next fight would be in January or February so he could get a fight in before his mandatory defense with Gabriel Rosado is due. "Going with Golden Boy, people will get a chance to see me fight more often," he said. "These guys got a lot of Showtime and HBO dates and I want people to see me. I want to entertain people. If the money is right, I will fight any of those guys they talked to me about -- Kirkland, Lara, Angulo. I don't mind fighting those guys."

Before Bundrage signed, he had been mentioned prominently as an opponent for former welterweight titlist Andre Berto in November.

Berto instead wound up making a fight with interim welterweight titlist Robert Guerrero instead.

"I was going to give Berto an opportunity but he turned it down," Bundrage said. "I would have been happy to make that fight. It would have been an entertaining fight. That's what I want to do  fight in entertaining fights against guys like Berto, Angulo or Kirkland, not Cory Spinks. He's a good fighter I don't want to fight guys who are moving around all the time. I want it to be like an MMA fight without the kicking."

Bundrage said he holds no animosity toward King for holding up his career, even though he has only fought four times since December 2008, twice against Spinks.

"I talked to Don King and we have no hard feelings with each other," Bundrage said. I don't want to make no enemies. I talked to him and he said, 'K9, come on back home.' But I'm not going there. I worked it out with Golden Boy and I'm excited to be fighting again. I don't want to be fighting once a year. I'm 39. It's the new 25 and I want to be fighting more than once a year."