By Phil D. Jay
Highly-ranked WBO cruiserweight Ola Afolabi (18-2-3, 8 KO’s) has lashed out at proposed opponent BJ Flores after the American stated that 25 days notice wasn’t enough time to prepare for a shot at the interim title on March 3rd in Germany.
The 31 year-old’s promoter’s K2 have made the offer to Flores, 33, on the back of his sixth round stoppage win over Hugo Pineda and Afolabi believes that Flores is making excuses by asking for the mandatory 45-day notice period stated by the WBO.
“My view on is he doesn't want to fight and he's making excuses,” Afolabi told World Boxing News.
“He just fought just over a week ago and won with a KO so he should be in shape, no? He is one of those fighters that wants to coast to a belt without any risk, so I can't respect him as a fighter.
“He may be a good business guy and hustler, but not a fighter. I came off an almost three-year layoff to take a fight at four weeks’ notice against one of the most dangerous cruiserweights out there in Eric Fields and had to lose 45 pounds when they offered me a purse of $4000.
“I didn't make any excuses about it because I knew the doors would open up if I came through it. I took the fight, I lost the weight and won by KO and after that was able to move on to bigger names like Enzo Maccarinelli and Marco Huck.
The British-born fighter now bases himself in the US and has shown he is a top contender at 200lbs since a two and half year lay off from boxing between 2005 and 2008. Before his return, ‘Kryptonite’ has drawn three and lost one of his early bouts, but has since racked up seven wins out of eight and pushed current WBO champion and heavyweight title contender all the way in 2009, with some believing he did enough to win the fight.
Afolabi went on: “I've paid my dues to get back up to where I am, who the f**k is this guy?
“You can't fake it to the top. He’s not even mandatory or 1st, 2nd rated – he is 3rd.
“How dare you make a mockery at what 99.9% of fighters are working hard for - a shot at a title?
“After my KO win over Fields, my promoter at the time, Dino Diva offered Flores $30000 to fight me. This was in 2009 and he said yes, then sat on the contract without signing for more than a month. Jonathan Banks then pulled out on Enzo (Maccarinelli) or (Tomasz) Adamek, so we took that fight.
“This is not an isolated event. We have made offers before and this guy has turned us down or had an excuse every time.
“My advice is to keep commentating and leave the fight game to fighters. I saw one of his fights where he had a shirt that said: ‘Anyone, anywhere, anytime - but I guess that means except Ola Afolabi in Germany at 25 days’ notice.
“Even if fought an easy fight, I was in training camp for months before that,” he added.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net