by David P. Greisman
Cruiserweight contender BJ Flores was in Bethlehem, Pa., to call the NBC broadcast of the rematch between Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham. But while heíd been hinting at an eventual move to heavyweight in the future, the 33-year-old with a record of 28 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw and 18 knockouts told BoxingScene.com that he first wanted to finish some business in his current division.
Flores spoke with BoxingScene.com shortly after Adamek and Cunningham weighed in.
BoxingScene.com: This is a semi-serious question: How soon into the NBC broadcast until you call out the winner of the main event?
Flores (laughing): ďIím not, actually. Iíve got a lot of business at cruiserweight first. Iíve been sticking around this division for a long time, and Iím finally rated No. 1 by the WBO now, No. 2 by the WBA. Iím not thinking about anything except one of the cruiserweight champions. Thatís really all Iím worried about right now.Ē
BoxingScene.com: The WBO and WBA, who does that get you a shot at?
Flores: ďI donít know. I think Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi are going to fight sometime in February/March. Iíd like to fight whoever wins that fight. Or obviously Denis Lebedev just had a great win over [Santander] Silgado. Thatíd be another great fight. Also, if Danny Greenís going to continue to fight, Iíd love to have a rematch with him ó at 200 pounds. And with the level of activity Iíve had lately, itíd be a lot different fight.Ē
BoxingScene.com: This continues to be a waiting game for you, though. When do you think youíre finally going to get the title shot that youíve been waiting for?
Flores: ďYou know, I donít know. Hopefully after this next fight. Hopefully soon. Hereís the thing: These guys got to continue to fight and stay active, and Iím right there and have been there for a while. Iíve been consistent. Iíve been active lately. Iíve had four fights in the last 15 months, have a fight every three or four months, am staying busy and knocking out middle of the road opposition that youíve got to knock out if you want to fight for a title. I havenít had the chance to step up against a good fighter, a world champion yet, and Iím looking for that opportunity.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Whenís the next bout for you?
Flores: ďI donít have anything planned right now. Now that Iím in the No. 1 position, weíre kind of waiting to see what happens. Iím just in the gym training, working, and Iíll be ready for the shot when it comes. Iíve improved a lot over the last two years, and kind of went back to the drawing board, revamped and changed my style a little bit. Iím more aggressive now, more explosive. And Iím a strong cruiserweight. We knew we had to change some things up, if you want to beat top-level opposition. I feel like Iíve done that, and Iím ready to prove it.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Itís kind of like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. You want to stay active, but if you do that you also might be keeping yourself from getting a title shot youíve been waiting for by not being available.
Flores: ďItís tough, and in this division timing is everything. If I plan a fight, another stay-busy fight, and one of the champions calls me to fight and Iím already in a contract, it just makes it difficult. At this point where Iím at now, Iíd rather just stay idle until I see what one of the championsí concrete next move is. Once they have a concrete move, then I can go based on that.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Are you anticipating another fight at home in Missouri?
Flores: ďNot for the next one, no. Weíve had four fights there over 15 months. I donít expect to fight one of the champions in Springfield, Mo., no. Itís not a problem. Iíll go wherever. Iím fine. Iíve been active. Iíve been busy. I donít have a problem going anywhere at this point as long as I have the full six-week preparation and we come in at 200 pounds.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Changing gears, what are your predictions for Adamek-Cunningham 2?
Flores: ďOh, man. I donít know. I think if Steve sticks to the game plan, he could have a good night. But heís got to fight a perfect fight. Adamekís been at this weight for, what, 11 fights now? Heís been in with some very strong guys. I think itís a tough second heavyweight for Steve. In his second heavyweight fight, heís fighting a really good guy. And Adamekís had more time up there. But with all that said, styles make fights, and Steveís style gives Adamek problems. But heís got to fight a perfect fight. He canít get in the trenches. Adamekís too heavy-handed.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Youíve been calling matches for a little bit now. How does it feel to be calling a fight on national TV on NBC?
Flores: ďIt feels great. Itís just a blessing. Itís exciting. These guys treat me so good. I love coming to work. Iím excited about it. Itís a lot of fun. Itís something I would do for free, to be honest with you. I grew up with a lot of these guys, fighting in the amateurs together, so itís good to see where they are now in their career and that theyíre doing well."
ďIf I can shed some light on a fight from a fightersí perspective, as far as whatís going on, I think fighters deserve that. Fighters deserve a fighter calling their fight, if heís capable of doing it, because a lot of times people whoíve never been in the ring, itís very difficult to understand all the things a fighterís going through. So it gives some extra perspective.Ē
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Tags: BJ Flores