A Medical Condition Force-stopped His Passion For Boxing, So He Became a Sought-after Model

Rudy Bundini featured in commercial advertisement with one of the largest brands and financial institutions Visa

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Rudy Bundini, the former boxing heavyweight champion turned fashion model, is living proof that you can get to where you want to be if you push hard enough to overcome the many trials and tribulations in life. Born in Switzerland in the 1980s, he'd eventually move to New York City in hopes of a better life, traveling to the area with only two bags and a belief in himself that he could make it. Unfortunately, while boxing was his first love, he received terrible news from a physician who explained that he wouldn't be able to box anymore after sustaining another severe injury to the arm. While this threw him off course and left him in a downward spiral for six months, he eventually decided to pursue the modeling industry. Known for his sharp jawline, handsome face, and naturally mysterious aesthetic, it wouldn't take long for him to get noticed, but that was only the beginning of his whirlwind of a career.

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Rudy Bundini

After attending hundreds of casting calls for modeling positions, Rudy went from nothing to something, gaining recognition from leading brands across the country. Not only did Nike choose to feature him in one of their commercials, but he was also featured on billboards in Times Square and American Forbes for Dolce Gabbana's Summer Collection Campaign, shot by Jade Young and L'Officiel. Walking in New York Fashion Week and wearing some of the most intricate pieces from glamourous, leading designers was like a dream come true. Finally, he could say he was officially living the "American Dream."

Despite being wildly successful in modeling and working with many notable brands, Covid-19 appeared to halt his progress. The advertising world experienced a downward shift that would impact models the most. Rudy began struggling with depression during the pandemic, gaining weight and finding it challenging to stay motivated while dealing with a significant lack of income due to the lack of work available. Unfortunately, the pandemic took a massive toll on the fashion industry, leading to lockdowns and restrictions that made it more complicated than ever for him to land any modeling work. It was a dark time for him, where he struggled mentally and physically while wondering if things would get better. Although most would feel defeated due to such a setback, Rudy looked for the light in dark moments, pushed forward, and proved everyone who thought he was retiring wrong by making a major comeback.

Having faced adversity before, when moving from Switzerland to the US in hopes of making a name for himself, he knew that success wouldn't happen if he didn't work for it. If anything, the pandemic would eventually give him the push needed to take things to the next level, motivating him to work on physically and mentally recovering from such a difficult and trying time. He realized the importance of getting back into the right mindset, setting goals for himself to achieve little by little. In what may be one of the greatest comebacks of all time, Rudy Bundini bounced back, feeling physically and mentally stronger than he was even before the pandemic started.

With over 4 million followers on Instagram, Rudy is now inspiring others to persevere during the toughest of times to make it through the bad times, and experience everything that life offers. His latest shoot for Visa, produced by Tomas Aukas, is a testament to his resiliency and ability to get back on track with his modeling career. In addition to his shoot for Visa, he recently modeled for Alphx Underwear in a New York facility with Sam Waxman behind the camera, proving that his career is nowhere near the end. In fact, for Rudy, it's only the height of a rewarding career in modeling that enables him to work with magnificent photographers and travel to incredible places across the country and worldwide. He has quickly become one of the most recognizable male models throughout the fashion capital of New York City.

As the number of followers he has continues to climb, most want to know how he's built such a massive following of supporters who appreciate his work and leave him kind, encouraging comments and messages each day. "While initially hesitant about using social media, I learned the importance of having an Instagram page for many casting calls I've attended. It would be an excellent way for me to put myself out on display, allowing brands to see my look and style and decide if they want to work with me," says Bundini. "However, I couldn't have anticipated how many people would end up following me. I believe people started to follow me when they saw my billboard in New York City and even after reading the Forbes article about me. I slowly started gaining more and more followers to get to this point, but I'm very appreciative of my supporters. I try to comment back to them as often as possible to show them how much they mean to me."

With no plan of retiring any time soon, Rudy Bundini's modeling career continues to progress as he takes on new and exciting opportunities. Now that he's at the peak of his career, he looks forward to working with many of the leading brands he loves and supports. His recent commercial advertisement with one of the largest brands and financial institutions, Visa, is only the beginning of the next chapter of his life.

"My mission in life is to leave a positive imprint on as many people as possible. I want to create a positive ripple effect as part of my long-lasting legacy," shares Bundini. "I'm proof that you can fall off track and struggle for a bit yet still pick yourself up and do something with your life. I could've let the pandemic destroy everything I'd worked hard for over the years, but I didn't. Instead, I decided to pick myself back up, change my mindset, and keep pushing, which has helped me experience tremendous success within my career as a male model."