By Jake Donovan

Cruiserweight contender B. J. Flores – who doubles as an announcer for various boxing outlets - has been named to the NBC broadcasting team for the 2012 Olympic Boxing Competition. Flores will serve alongside Fred Roggin and former female boxing standout Laila Ali in the CNBC studios.

“Representing NBC and being part of the Olympic broadcast is truly a great honor and a blessing,” Flores said in a statement. “I am very much looking forward to seeing an improved USA Olympic Boxing Team with many experienced veterans leading the charge.”

Flores (27-1-1, 17KO) replaces Antonio Tarver in the CNBC news booth in a move that watches the broadcasting careers of both fighters continue to head in opposite directions. Tarver has been benched by Showtime in the aftermath of testing positive for performance enhancing drugs following his June 2 12-round draw with Lateef Kayode, which aired on Showtime.

Tarver is presently awaiting the results of his “B” sample to be tested, in hopes of proving the first result to be a false positive.

The circumstances were never directly announced as the reason for Tarver’s removal from the Olympic broadcast team. Whatever the case, Flores continues to thrive behind the mic while patiently awaiting big things to happen in the ring.

Flores worked with ESPN Friday Night Fights for three years as a rotating in-studio host for the English portion and an analyst on ESPN Deportes. His work stood out enough to catch the eye of NBC Sports, who enlisted his services for its “NBC Sports Fight Night” series which debuted earlier this year and was recently extended to run through at least 2014.

The move to bring in Flores for Olympic coverage comes with a touch of irony. Flores was a leading amateur fighter and figured to star on the 2004 Olympic squad. He instead decided to turn pro a year early, with the announcement coming in NBC’s studios in Feb. 2003.

Flores was on hand for a press conference held by Main Events to announce the launching of a series that aired briefly on NBC’s flagship station, showcasing its young talent. His pro debut came on the non-televised undercard of the series inaugural episode in May ’03, returning two weeks later in the same capacity for a show that aired live from Atlantic City.

Even without an Olympic appearance gracing his resume, Flores led a stellar amateur career. A record of 111-9 is accentuated with consecutive US Amateur Heavyweight Championships in 2001 and 2002, though his time spent with Team USA stands out the most during his run in the non-pay ranks.

“I had my first fight when I was nine years old and learned so much in my 120 amateur fights.  I got to fight National Champions all over the world representing TEAM USA.  It was a great experience. At a very young age I was exposed to the US Army team and was inspired to box by future Olympians Kennedy McKinney and Vince Phillips (Editor’s Note: McKinney won a Gold medal while serving on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Phillips, McKinney’s best friend, did not make the squad).

“They started on the US Army team and were trained by Kenny Adams in Fort Hood, Texas, where my father was based.  Kenny allowed my brother and I to ride on the team bus to their fights and that experience of seeing their discipline towards boxing left a big impression on me.”

The U.S. Olympic boxing squad hasn’t exactly flourished in recent times. The 2008 team was spared the embarrassment of being shut out when Deontay Wilder earned a bronze medal in the heavyweight division, though still making for the worst showing by a U.S. boxing squad in more than 50 years.

Greater hopes are held for this year’s squad. While Flores will remember his role as a neutral analyst once the games begin, patriotism has caused him to encourage his countrymen to turn things around.

“Coach (Basheer) Abdullah has done a great job with this 2012 team and I predict that more medals will be won than in 2004 and 2008 combined,” Flores believes.

Flores’ own boxing career will resume once the Summer Olympics are through, with plans to return to the ring on September 8 in Missouri. The cruiserweight contender has won three straight since his lone career loss to Danny Green in Nov. ’10.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox