Exclusive Interview With B.J Flores - "I'm Beyond Frustrated!"
by James Slater - Undefeated cruiserweight contender B.J Flores is in Manchester, U.K right now, having come over to both spar with and support good friend David Haye ahead of the WBA heavyweight champ's defence against John Ruiz.
Article posted on 03.04.2010
Having sparred a good number of rounds with "The Hayemaker," Flores is more than qualified to make a prediction for how tomorrow night's fight will go. Also in the following interview he was kind enough to give me earlier today, B.J spoke about his own career..
Here are Flores' answers to my questions:
James Slater: As always, it's great to speak with you, B.J. You're in Manchester, UK now, of course, and you've been sparring with David Haye ahead of his fight with John Ruiz. How has David been looking in sparring?
B.J.Flores: What's up brother? Yeah, David's looking fantastic. What he's done is, he's been focused because he's known for quite some time it's gonna be a tough fight for him, so he's really worked hard in training camp to make sure the best David Haye comes in and I really think that's what we will see. He's really clamping down to make sure he's ready for tomorrow night.
J.S: How many rounds would you say you've spared with Haye for this fight?
B.J.F: Well, Adam [Booth] doesn't spar his guys too much, but I would say we did about four or five sessions, with four or five rounds per session.
J.S: And in terms of predictions, what's going to happen tomorrow night? Would you care to pick a round?
B.J.F: No, I'm not gonna say a round. I'm just gonna say, you know, John has improved a ton - he's so much abetter fighter under new trainer Miguel Diaz, he's a much better fighter and John seems like he's in a much better place mentally. He's at peace with himself. He's been at the mountain top so many times, he's a very good, solid fighter and I think a lot of people underestimate him. I think he beats almost every heavyweight out there - but the different dimensions, the different things Haye will present, will give Ruiz some real problems. It will be a tough, close fight, but I like David at home and I like David with his athleticism. But I don't think this is John's last opportunity, to be honest with you, even if he doesn't win tomorrow night, I think he'll still have some good stuff to offer the division.
J.S: That's interesting, but let's move onto your career, B.J. Are you going to be fighting on June 26th? and who against? The names we've heard are Troy Ross and Eric Fields, but they may be looking elsewhere? Are they both out now?
B.J.F: Well, it looks like Ross is going to be fighting [Steve] Cunningham's, so obviously that's a good move for him, not having to fight me. He made the right decision, he's in a good position and he really doesn't want to risk anything with his rated position. Eric Fields is definitely out, he turned it down. So we're trying to look for someone else and we'll see who fits the bill.
J.S: Do you plan on fighting on June 26th, though - a hundred-percent?
B.J.F: It's not a hundred-percent, because I'm still looking for a fight! Square Ring, who I'm still under contract with until August, they don't have anything for me. It's really, really difficult.
J.S: Are you feeling frustrated now, B.J - at not being able to get the fights you want?
B.J.F: James, I'm beyond frustrated. I would never choose to be out of the ring for eight months, but that's what happened. I was supposed to go to Australia, with the Roy Jones and Danny Green fight, but I was pulled out at the last second - and Square Ring, they don't have any dates for me. So that's the bottom line of why I've been out of the ring for eight months. Even for the April 3rd fight [tomorrow], at the last second, when I was already in England, they called me and said do I want to fight Ismayl Sillakh, at 190pounds! I'm like, why would I want to fight a guy who is 11-0 and try to make 190-pounds?
J.S: It would have been great to see you on tomorrow's card. But anyway, the last time we talked, you did say Marco Huck - who I know you've tried so hard to get a fight with and are probably sick to the back teeth of talking about - would face Adam Richards next, as he did. He won inside three-rounds. Did you see that fight?
B.J.F: Yes I did, I saw it on You Tube. I actually thought Adam Richards would go a little longer in the fight, but it's like I say - he's [Richards] had, what, one fight at cruiserweight. You don't just go from having no fights at cruiserweight to fighting for a world title. He's a tough kid, but Huck showed he's in two different leagues, and Sauerland knows who he [Huck] can beat and they'll keep sticking him in with certain styles. Brian Minto is the next fight. He's a tough kid as well, but his style is not gonna stand up to Huck.
J.S: You think Huck will stop Minto?
B.J.F: Yeah, I think he will. The reason, is because Minto's never had a fight at cruiserweight, and it's tough to see how he's gonna do at the weight. Also, he's coming off a big knockout loss to Chris Arreola. And just because he's coming down in weight, it doesn't mean the cruiserweights don't have heart. He's going to find out the guys are very strong at that weight, and him losing enough weight to get down might be a determent to him instead of something he can take advantage of. You know, it takes time, you don't want to drop down so quick - as Antonio Tarver said, it's not that easy to drop down and fight - especially into a world title fight, and Saureland knows that.
J.S: There may be a big fight for you against Danny Green though, is that a possibility?
B.J.F: James, I've been in camp with eight different heavyweight champions - guys like David Haye, Hasim Rahman, Sergei Liakhovich, Ruslan Chagaev. I know I can compete with the best cruiserweights; I just want that opportunity. You know, I've chased Marco Huck and he's fought Richards and Minto. I get it that they don't want to fight a guy who is young, undefeated and hungry. But Danny Green would be a great fight - if he really wants to prove himself, he has to fight a top cruiserweight. I'm very willing to go over there and I think we'd put on a great fight. It would be a great event in Australia. But I can't sit around forever and wait for these fights. I've easily got a few good years ahead of me, I take real good care of myself. But I want to get these big wins now, not in four or five years!
J.S: Can I get your prediction on Jones-Hopkins II, which also takes place tomorrow.
B.J.F: I like Jones to win a close decision. I think Jones will do enough, I like Jones to win, I really do. People can call me crazy or whatever they want but I think Roy has a good style for Bernard and also a mental edge on Bernard.
J.S: It's great to speak with you, as I've said. How are you liking Manchester, is this your first time in Manchester?
B.J.F: Yeah it is, I'm loving it. I was at Ricky Hatton's gym last night; he was showing me on the bag how he does his trademark left hook to the body.
J.S: That's so interesting, B.J. How did Ricky look, will he fight again in your opinion?
B.J.F: I think he will. You know, Ricky never looks in good shape between fights; he's just Ricky. But when time comes to get into camp, he's always in dog shape. I mean, I can't really say, but I think he will fight again. I think he'll have one final fight at the M.E.N arena; the fans would love to see it. Just because he lost to Floyd Mayweather and to Manny Pacquiao, it doesn't mean he doesn't have anything left to offer. The people love Ricky Hatton and I love Ricky Hatton - he's a great fighter. He's good for boxing and I think he'll have another fight.
J.S: Is that the first time you've met Ricky?
B.J.F: Yeah it is. He's a really funny guy, a funny character. Like I say, he's good for boxing.
J.S: Thanks so much for your insight, B.J. I hope you enjoy the fight tomorrow.
B.J.F: Thanks, James. Yes, I'm really looking forward to a great fight. I will be walking David into the ring, and the two have to prove who is the better fighter. It should be a good night.
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