Q&A: Sakio Bika
Sakio Bika will clash with Jesse Brinkley before June 16th for the IBF #1 position, and if he wins will eventually fight for the IBF super middleweight championship against Lucian Bute. Bika talks to Fight news and tells of his respect for Brinkleyís ability, but says he is confident he will defeat the American and then challenge Bute in a rematch that he is also confident of winning
You will meet Jesse Brinkley by June 16th in an IBF eliminator for the IBF #1 position. Brinkley was impressive when he defeated Curtis Stevens in 2010. Have you seen Brinkley box? Are you confident of victory? Your thoughts please.
I have seen a few of his fights. In his last fight with Curtis Stevens he looked very good. He has an exciting style and comes to fight, which is similar to the way I like to fight. Iím looking forward to a good, hard, fight which should be great entertainment for boxing fans. This fight is very important to me as a win gets me another shot at Lucian Bute, so I am very confident of victory against Brinkley.
Brinkley was defeated by Robin Reid in 2007 and Joe Spina in 2006, but has scored several victories since then. Do you think his recent fight activity gives him an advantage? You have only had one fight in 2009 where you KOd Nestor Fabian Casanova. Your thoughts please.
I would love to have been more active. I have been promised a number of fights over the past 12 months but for various reasons they have fallen through. I have constantly been in the gym and have been getting plenty of quality sparring so I will be ready when the time comes to fight Brinkley.
You have boxed the best super middleweights and performed well against Joe Calzaghe, Markus Beyer and Lucian Bute. Does boxing this class opposition make you a solid favorite to defeat Brinkley?
Iím not concerned about what others think about favorites in this fight, I believe in my ability and know that I will defeat Jesse Brinkley when we meet. I have proved myself at the highest level and have been a world champion (IBO) before. Brinkley has never been in the ring with a genuine world class boxer in his prime.
If successful against Brinkley you will be challenging for the IBF 168 title. You lost to champion Lucian Bute in 2007. Did his southpaw stance give you problems? Would it be a different fight this time? Your thoughts please.
That was then, this is now. While Bute has definitely improved since we met, I believe I am a much better boxer than the one that fought him in June, 2007. I now have a different trainer. I have fought a lot of southpaw boxers in my career. As for his southpaw style, my trainer is a southpaw so I am confident that we can work out a strategy to make sure I turn the tables on Bute next time we meet!
You nearly drowned at your hotel swimming pool and you were saved by your trainer Mark Pitts the day before you boxed Lucian Bute. Did this affect your performance?
Yes, I was not as focused and was distracted by what had happened. I now am learning to swim and will not go near any swimming pools before the fight.
Interbox Beat Star Boxing (Team Brinkley) and Golden Boy have formed a purse bid to promote the fight. Are you happy the fight will be in Canada and not the USA?
I am just happy to be fighting again. I am a professional boxer so this is part of the job. I donít care where I fight, I believe Iím the best super middleweight in the world so Iím willing to fight anyone, anywhere in order to prove it!
You won the IBO 168 title in 2008 when you stopped Peter Manfredo in three rounds. You were stripped of the title this week. Why did you not defend this title?
I have been willing to defend my IBO world title but nobody has challenged me. The IBO do not have mandatory challengers so I put out an open challenge to any super middleweight who wants to try and take my title away from me, but no one took up my offer. I am disappointed that they decided to strip me as I was proud to be the IBO world champion, but that is their decision, I will just have to move forward and take Lucien Buteís IBF belt from him!
Are there any comments you would like make for Sakio Bika fans and Fight news readers?
I would like to thank everyone that has stood by me during this frustrating time where I have been unable to get a fight. I hope to repay your faith in me by being more active over the next few years as I look to take on the very best that the super middleweight division has to offer. First up is Brinkley and then I hope to be the IBF world champion before the year is out.
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