Thanks for joining us everybody for this press call for the PBC on NBC show, September 12, Saturday afternoon at Foxwoods Resorts Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The NBC broadcast will begin at 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT. The doors will open at the casino at 1:00 pm and the first bout at 1:05 p.m.
We have a sensational off TV undercard that you’ll be learning more about in the next few days, and I look forward to everybody being in the arena, but if you’re not, we look forward to people turning in to PBC on NBC, 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT, for a tremendous doubleheader.
The main event of the evening is a fight between Peter Quillin, “Kid Chocolate” undefeated middleweight 31-0-1 with 22 KOs against Michael Zerafa, 17-1 with 9 KOs from Melbourne, Australia. This is a fight where Peter is looking to get to the big fight that’s waiting for him at the end of this year in December against Daniel Jacobs for the world middleweight title.
Peter is a former world champion himself. He did not lose the title in the ring. He’s undefeated and that matchup between Jacobs and Quillin figures to be one of the biggest fights you can make in New York, one of the biggest fights in the middleweight division. It’s for the pride of New York. It’s for who has supremacy in the middleweight division, and who’s one of the top middleweights in the world. But first, Peter’s got to get by Michael Zerafa who is looking to upset the apple cart.
The opening fight of the night is a tremendous matchup, a true crossroads fight featuring Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, the oldest world champion actively fighting today. That’s a badge of honor. He’s in his 40s and proud of it. This is a guy that has always defied the odds, a two-time world champion defending his title against the young guy.
He takes on a young guy on the rise, Jermall Charlo, 21-0 with 16 KOs out of Houston, Texas. One of the Charlo brothers, Jermall is looking now to take a world championship in his first attempt. This is a terrific fight. This is the kind of fight that can’t be a bad fight.
Both guys have everything at stake. And the question in hand here is going to be can “K9,” the old dog retain his title and put on a great performance one more time with the young lion coming for his belt. So first I like to do to introduce that young lion to say a couple of words out of Houston, Texas Jermall Charlo.
I’m just prepared for this fight. I know this is my second time really at this level, but the first time it didn’t go through. So I can’t look at that. I’m only looking forward and K-9 is in my way right now. I’m just prepared to fight and put on a good show and give it all I got.
Thank you, Jermall. Tickets for the live event by the way are priced at $150, $85 and $45. They’re available at Ticketmaster.com, Foxwoods.com, by visiting the Foxwoods box office or charging by phone by calling Ticketmaster.
Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage came to the people’s attention in a big way with the TV series “The Contender.” His career had skyrocketed in recent years. Frankly, his greatest years had been his older years, reminiscent of a guy named George Foreman.
He won a world title with a great performance in 2010 over Cory Spinks. The Detroit native went on to defend that title against Sechew Powell and Spinks. Lost the title in 2013, but earned another shot against Carlos Molina, beat him and became a two-time world champ and he’s about to defend September 12th at Foxwoods PBC on NBC against the very hungry Jermall Charlo. So K-9 Bundrage, say a few words please.
Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff. What’s happening, Lou, man? God bless you man. Yeah, I’m excited man. I finally get a chance to fight on one of your cards on NBC live same day Mayweather fight. It’s going to be big, it’s going to be nice and I’m just looking forward to the challenge.
Thanks and I’m going to take notes. No further time. Let’s open it up for questions from the press.
K9, with you being the oldest active world champion in the sport and these younger fighters that are coming up today, what is it that you see in these younger fighters that allows you to continuously stay on top of your game that they seem to be lacking?
I grew up in,Detroit at the Kronk Gym. I’ve been around Emanuel Steward, Tommy Hearns, and just saw the wars and been in some of them and always getting good sparing. I started boxing late in my career. My longevity is serious. A lot of young fighters they look at my age and they say, well, he’s 42 years old, but not in boxing years.
In boxing I might be in my late 20s, because I started late and I only had 10 amateur fights. They’re on the outside looking in, not knowing what’s really going on. Time will tell and that’s why I continue to prove that with God all things are possible and I keep winning and I’m currently the oldest world champion right now, but I am the oldest junior middleweight world champion of all times. Just in case you didn’t know. I’m very proud of that.
Okay. How you doing today? Jermall, this is going to be the most experienced opponent that you fought so far as a professional. What is it that you think that you need to do to negotiate K-9’s experience?
I can’t take years from him or anything like that, but all I have to do is just stay young and do me and continue to be me and enforce the power that I have.
I believe in my skills and my training. I have a great game plan and all of my skills will be on display September 12.
This main event fight is a fight in the middleweight division and Michael is not a household name or well known guy in the United States, but he was a terrific amateur with great credentials in Australia and that Pan-Asia area.
He turned pro at 18 years old, won the first 15 starts of his career. At 23 years old he’s making his US debut on September 12th when he comes to Connecticut to take on Peter. He has wins over previously unbeaten boxers, Bruno Carvalho and Luke Sharp and a fourth round TKO over Yodmongkol Singmanasak in March.
But frankly the most intriguing thing about Michael and the most interesting thing about this fight is how little he has to lose and how much he can access with a great performance and a surprising upset. Obviously there are very few fights in the middleweight division any bigger then Peter Quillin.
Daniel Jacobs, that’s a fight that’s being planned for December. Michael has no intention of letting it get to that point and really has very little to lose, coming to the stage with not much expected of him. But not much is known about him, but he comes to the states to win and I think we were happy to give a young fighter — a young fresh athletic fighter — an opportunity in this type of a fight as opposed to finding somebody who’s a retreader or on the wrong side of their career. So Mike, do you want say a few words.
I’ve done what I had to do in Australia and I’ve got nothing to lose so I’m coming down and I’m going to upset the world. I’ve trained hard for it. For the last few fights I’ve been putting my body on the line. I’m going to go out there and shock the world. I’ve got nothing to lose in this game. So I can’t wait until September 12 to get out there and put on a good show.
Obviously this is a big show for you Michael. Your opponent here is a guy that’s been against the top competition in all of boxing, been a world champion coming off of a great fight, a draw with Andy Lee. How do you approach a fight against an opponent with far more experience and a guy this well-known and how do you figure you’re going to handle the spotlight of being on a nationally televised show in the United States?
I don’t know if it’s the show that pumps me up too much, but I know I’m fighting the best in the world. We have a game plan. We’ve been training super hard for this fight and I can’t wait to get out there and put it all together. We’ve got nothing to lose, everything to gain.
I give much respect to Quillin and I appreciate him stepping in the ring with me and it’s an absolute honor being up with there with the best.
All right. Thank you, Peter. Peter Quillin, 31-0-1, 22 KOs. Peter is coming off a great fight with Andy Lee. Still looking to keep his undefeated record intact. Looking to get to that title showdown with Danny Jacobs.
He won a middleweight belt in 2012 with a star making six knockdown performance against Hassan N’Dam. David Lemieux is about to fight against Triple G and Peter Quillin knocked Mr. N’Dam down down six times and N’Dam is the best win on Lemiuex’s record. So you see that at the top of the division there are a lot of talented fighters and Peter is looking to get to a huge fight, but he needs to get past the very hungry young kid with nothing to lose.
Peter can you say a few words to everybody.
I want to first thank everybody who was involved in making this fight happen and I want to say thank you Lou for promoting this great card. I want to thank all the other fighters that are on this card as well. I want to thank my opponent Michael, for stepping up to the challenge to take a fight with me. I want to thank God.
I just want to thank anybody that’s going to be watching this fight and interested in seeing me make a comeback and make a climb towards where I want to be at in boxing.
Michael, Do you think that Quillin is underestimating you?
I’ve got a lot of respect for Peter and what he thinks doesn’t really bother me. I have a job to do. Whatever is in front of me I’ve got a job to do. So I’ll still go out there and put on a show and stick to our game plan and go the distance. I’m just giving it 110%, that’s what I’m going to do.
Michael, there’s obviously had been a lot of talk about Peter fighting Danny Jacobs. It’s a big fight in New York that people would be anticipating. What are your thoughts on that and does that motivate you that people are talking about that fight before you and Peter fight?
It doesn’t upset me or anything. It just puts more fuel on the fire. It just gives me more spark to get out there and put on a big show. Quillin is one of the best fighters in the world and a huge respect to him and I do appreciate him letting me even step in the ring with him.
I am underestimated. I’ve beaten the best in Australia. I just haven’t had a shot at the big stage yet. Now I finally got my chance. So I better go out there and do my thing and show him. So come September 12, I’m leaving no stone unturned.
Peter, obviously this big fight is ahead if you’re able to win this fight. How are you able to block that out and just concentrate on this fight?
I feel like in my mind you always got to give a person a shot. I’m trying to keep my mind focused just on Michael because I know everybody’s looking to make a name for themselves, including him.
If he comes in there and beats me then he would probably be pulling off one of the biggest upsets in boxing recently. But my job is to take everybody seriously. whether it’s Michael, whether Danny Jacobs, whether it’s Gennady Golovkin or whether it’s any other name out there.
It’s just staying focused on my guy that’s in front of me and Michael is that guy in front of me and my job is to try to win one round at a time.
Michael, do you feel that the fact that you’re not well known, whether it be by the fans here or by Peter Quillin is an advantage for you?
Definitely. It’s not a surprise. I am the underdog but, we’ve got a strong game plan and we’ve been trying super hard in the gym. We’ve been working three or four times a day super hard, doing the right stuff that we need.
Quillin, we have the utmost respect for. He fought the best and beaten the best and it’s going to be a hard fight. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So come fight night I can only do what God tells me to do. I’ll just go out there and do my thing.
Do you think in the long run it could be an advantage as you guys kind of sit back and you watch what happens between Golovkin and Lemieux and Cotto and Canelo and in the end after they sort everything out that will eventually put you in a position to be in one of the bigger fights and that would make that fight a higher profile once everybody else kind of sorts themselves for you?
I think so. With Pacquiao and Mayweather we’ve been waiting on that fight for such a long time and when the money got as much as it got, the fight of course happened. I am a participant in boxing. I’d never say I don’t want to fight someone.
I work with some of the best people in the sport of boxing. I just want to make sure my legacy, my money and everything that I’m doing this for is filled. So for me I don’t worry about the politics of boxing. There are a lot of things behind the closed doors when the boxing matches are being made that I don’t have anything to do with it. The only thing that I have control over is me going to the gym, staying ready and staying in shape and taking whatever fights are available for me.
Peter, are you considering a move up to the super middleweight division at 168 in the near future?
Yes, I’m getting to that point where I feel like that’s going to be on my horizon and I’m getting older. I’ve been the same weight since I was 18 years old and now I’m 32. I won’t be to the point where I’m just trying to hang on to the weigh. I don’ think it will be happening. I think in my near future I will be up to 168 pounds.
Michael, have you been watching tape and do you see anything that you could capitalize on Peter come September 12?
Yes we’ve studied and we’ve got a strong game plan. We just want to go out there and stick to that game plan. I’ve been underestimated before. A lot of criticism and politics have slowed me down
I’m very confident with this card. I’m the underdog. I’ve got nothing to lose, everything to gain. Down in Australia I’ve also been the underdog and had huge upsets. It’s going to be a hard fought match. To be the best you got to beat the best. That’s what we’re aiming to do, aiming high.
In boxing you can’t aim just to beat guys here and there. You got to fight the best and that’s what you want to do.
What is the weight limit for this fight?
It’s 163 pounds.
Peter what happened with making weight in the Lee fight and do you think you’ll be able to make it down to 160 should you go on to face Danny Jacobs next?
Well it is about eating the right kind of food. I don’t eat unhealthy. But this is the first time in my career where I had to go through this type of stuff. As far as me working in the gym, I’m in the gym and for the Danny Jacobs fight, whatever the case may be, you know, I’m going to try my hardest and try to make that weight but I won’t kill myself.
I’ve been the same weight since I was 18 years old. I’m 32 now and I’m getting older so the weight is not coming off the same like it did as a young man that I was once before. We still got a lot of time because the fight that I’m really worried about right now is Michael.
Michael is the guy right now because without getting past him, nothing is going to be possible. I have to at least show the guy some respect that’s coming all the way from Australia. I want to give him an actual shot and see if he’s able to do what he can do.
What was that process like for you trying to make weight for the Andy Lee fight?
It’s very emotional. Let me just invite you into the world of being on my level. You have so many people that can make promises to you, but don’t deliver. It’s that as far as everybody just wants to be in your pocket man and latch on to you some way, somehow. So I get a lot of that all the time and I have to just figure out who works for me and who doesn’t. So it’s always like a process of elimination kind of thing that I’m going through in my life.
What was it like for you physically trying to make weight?
Physically, I came close to making the weight. It was just the extra couple of little pounds I had to take off. It didn’t come off like it has done in my past. So it was like more of an emotional kind of thing that I was going through trying to take off the weight. I never got into a sauna before, so I had to get in the sauna. I did whatever I could and if that’s not good enough then people have to accept it. So it is what it was.
How do you feel that that affected your performance — if at all — against Andy Lee and with that in mind with this fight against Zerafa being at 163, how much do you feel your performance could potentially be better?
Well, I don’t have that emotional kind of thing that I had because for this I am not fighting for a big old belt and the pressure let off and now I have more time and so I give myself a little bit more time. I’ve been in the gym since after my fight, so it’s like I haven’t really came out the gym, so I’ve been working, working, working in the gym.
For me I think all around I just got to find the right fit more like a conditioning training or a proper dietitian where I can see what I’ve been doing wrong. I think I more got a clear mind to go in this fight and put on a good performance.
Michael, do you feel you’re going in against a bigger man in this fight?
Look, I am a big boy and I’m a pretty big middle weight myself, I’m standing at 6-1 nearly 6-2. I’m very solid and strong, so as a junior middleweight I was very big, so I feel like his weight doesn’t really bother me. At the end of the day we both have to weigh at the same weight, so it’s not going to be an advantage to him or myself.
I’ve got the reach and heart on him and win, lose or draw we give our absolute all. I’m very confident with this one.
Do you feel a physical difference in yourself between when you were fighting at junior middleweight and the weight that you’re finding at now?
Yeah, I find myself a lot quicker, a lot stronger and a lot smarter. I was trying to get down to 169 kilos when I started. It was mentally frustrating. Now I can get down weight easy. I’m strong and I’m fit, so I’ve got no excuses coming into this fight.
Michael, what do you take away from Peter Quillin’s past performances, both his good ones and maybe be the one where he struggled a bit more?
We’ve studied Quillin and you can’t take anything away from him. People on the outside, it’s easy to criticize, but in the ring it’s completely different. He’s fought the best and beaten the best.
The sport of boxing is a sport where you can’t criticize or put down your opponent. Now it’s all business. I’m coming out here to work and to get that win.
Peter, you’re going to be going into this fight as a big favorite. Most of the fans are going to be rooting for you. It’s going to be live on NBC. It’s on a very busy day for boxing. Does all this mean that you really want to make a statement that stand out because there’s going to be a lot happening September 12.
Well, let’s say first and foremost, I’m originally from Grand Rapids. Michigan. The same place where Floyd Mayweather’s from, so it’s on the same day as one of the best fighters in the world fights and also for my same city of Grand Rapids.
It’s a big thing for me, but my job is not to worry about putting pressure on myself to perform in a way where I have to make a statement. What I’m going to do is do my best to put on a good performance against a guy we shouldn’t take lightly. I’m taking his word into consideration and know that I’ve to come out there with my best foot forward and ready to do what I have to do and that’s the job of boxing.
One punch can change a fight and I’m giving him the respect. I’m giving him respect now, but after that bell rings, there’s no more respect. I just hope he doesn’t dance in that ring.
Have you watched tape of Zerafa’s fights? How familiar are you with his style?
I never in my career watched tapes of guys. That’s what my trainers do and they get paid to do. I watch a couple of rounds and I was like okay, then they watch and formulate a game plan. They go in and come out with the game plan because I feel like when you get in there a guy that you see and you think you see, he fights every guy different or it might be some certain things over and over again, but my job is be ready.
I put myself through treacherous workouts when I’m in that gym. I train to see it all and when we come September 12 you’re just going to be trained to see whatever he’s going to throw at me and we’re going to know what to do when he throws it and make him pay every mistake that he makes.
Michael, tell us what you expect to happen in this fight on September 12?
We expect nothing but a war and you know that’s what we want. We want a hard fight. We want to fight the best and Quillin is the best and you know we’re looking to go straight past Quillin. The reason why I haven’t been fighting in the U.S> yet is because I haven’t had the opportunity.
We had problems in Russia. Environmentally, physically, mentally, we’re strong right now and we’re ready to get out there and make noise and that’s what we want to do. My team and I sat down, we worked extremely hard and actually we’ve got a very good game plan. We’re going to work and I’m looking for September 12, just be ready.
After that fight you had in Russia was there anything you changed and do you expect to show a different look in this fight?
Since my fights I’ve stepped up 20 times more. I’ve gone to a different level. I’ve gotten stronger training camps, stronger sparring partners. I’ve been moving around with the best in the world and the best trainers in the world. I believe I’ve gone 10 levels above how I was then. I’m very confident. Take nothing away from Quillin, he is the best and that’s what we want. We want to beat the best. So I’m just going to go out there and do my thing and leave the rest in God’s hands.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, are priced at $150, $85 and $45, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com and www.foxwoods.com or by visiting the Foxwoods’ Box Office. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.