By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com published articles all week on a three way rift between cruiserweight contender BJ Flores, and undefeated cruiserweight prospects Lateef Kayode and Ryan Coyne. In one of the stories Kayode said that he didn't even know who Flores was. Flores responded by saying that Kayode "barely speaks English and just arrived to the States." The story can be found here http://www.boxingscene.com/bj-flores-returns-fire-on-team-lateef-kayode--35810.
Kayode's manager Steven Feder knows that in many instances this type of back and forth banter is what ultimately leads to fights being made.
Feder did however take exception to Flores comments about Kayode speaking English or more specifically his lack of speaking English. Feder wants to put an end to this verbal battle and wants everyone to know that Kayode does indeed speak English and that his ability to speak English has nothing to do with the fact that he doesn't know who Flores is.
Feder told BoxingScene, "Ryan, I read the BJ Flores Returns Fire article. I would like to inform BJ and your readers that Lateef Kayode didn't just arrive in the United States. He arrived in February of 2008 and turned professional in August of 2008. In addition, his assumption that Lateef barely knows English is also incorrect.
"Although Nigeria has approximately 510 living languages and languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fulfulde, Kanuri, and Ibibio are major spoken languages, the actual official language of Nigeria is English which is the former colonial language. Nigeria gained its full independence from Britain in 1960. Lateef conducts his interviews in English. He has worked very hard to assimilate into our culture while still respecting his own. Him not knowing who BJ was had nothing to do with his ability to speak English. In Nigeria you pronounce Marco Huck, as Marco Huck, Steve Cunningham, as Steve Cunningham, and Danny Green as Danny Green. Nigeria has TVs, radios, cellphones, newspapers, the Internet and even universities. "
Feder felt that Flores' comments went too far and were too personal in respect to Kayode. Feder points out that boxing is an international sport with fighters coming from many different cultures. The L.A. based manager wants to set the record straight and let the world know that Kayode is educated.
"This is a multicultural sport. When you enter the Wild Card Gym the windows are draped with flags from all over the world. There are a few signs on the wall. The most prominent one says 'It Ain't Easy.' BJ, coming to America and adapting to our culture 'Ain't Easy.' There is as much adversity for some outside the ropes as there is between them. We're talking trash here and I think you know that it isn't personal because I've had a number of cordial conversations with you. I know you're a decent guy, but your name doesn't appear on the Citizen Test or the entrance at Kennedy Airport. Lateef not knowing who you are doesn't mean he's not educated."
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