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BJ FLORES: "I'M LOOKING TO FIGHT LATEEF KAYODE...STOP MAKING EXCUSES!"

By James Alden | February 15, 2011
BJ FLORES:

"I'm looking to fight Lateef Kayode, who is a young guy with a high rating who recently fought on Showtime...We issued a challenge to Lateef the other day and his manager replied by saying, 'Lateef fought the guy that BJ was supposed to fight,' and he was making all these weird excuses. I'm issuing the challenge and if you want the fight, then fight, but don't make up excuses saying you don't know who I am. Either you accept the fight and we fight, or you decline the fight and then we move on, but stop making excuses," stated cruiserweight contender BJ Flores, who discussed his eagnerness to return to the ring and face a top contender in hopes of setting himself up for a title shot. Check out what else he had to say about his future plans and more.

JA: How have you been BJ? Are you amped up to be getting back in the ring soon?

BF: Absolutely. We were going over some details with Danny Green's camp and the possibility of doing another fight with him in Australia later this year. I'm definitely ready to get back in the ring after recovering from my injuries in my last fight. It felt good to be back in the ring after the long layoff and my goals will be to stay in the ring on a regular basis moving forward.

JA: The judges scorecards had you losing the fight by a large margin. Do you believe the long layoff played a big role in your performance?

BF: If you go back and you score the fight, there is no way the scores were that wide. After the fight, a lot of the Australian fans were coming up to me saying, "You won the fight." Danny didn't hit me with any big shots. He would box me and then move back, but he didn't land anything clean. He was backing up most of the fight and I wasn't expecting that type of Danny Green. We were prepared for a fighter who was going to come forward most of the night. I believe after he felt a couple of my punches, he knew that I wasn't another super middleweight or another light heavyweight fighter coming up to fight him, but a true full-fledged Cruiserweight. He boxed well and kept the fight close, but there is no way he won the fight by those margins. If you go back and watch the fight, you can come to your own conclusions. Dan Rafael scored the fight 116-112 in favor of Danny, even though Dan has never been a big fan of mine.

JA: Danny Green is the first fighter that you fought with the resume that he has. You must be pleased knowing that you can go up against the elite cruiserweights in the world and hold your own.

BF: To be honest with you, it was just proving that I could go up against him and be competitive. In my heart, I always knew I could fight the best and hold my own. I've been boxing since I was a young kid and I had the opportunity to train and spar some of the best fighters in the world. I never had any doubts going into the fight. I felt confident I was going to leave the fight the winner. I knew if I got myself in the right shape, the right frame of mind, that I could compete with anyone in the world. I'm looking to fight Lateef Kayode, who is a young guy with a high rating who recently fought on Showtime. Now he has a target on his back and you're only as good as your last fight. When you're rated top 5 in the world, you need to get in the ring and back it up. It doesn't matter what your promoter or your manager has to say; your talking is done in the ring. We issued a challenge to Lateef the other day and his manager replied by saying, "Lateef fought the guy that BJ was supposed to fight," and he was making all these weird excuses. I'm issuing the challenge and if you want the fight, then fight, but don't make up excuses saying you don't know who I am. Either you accept the fight and we fight, or you decline the fight and then we move on, but stop making excuses.

JA: Has your representative been in touch with Lateef and his manager? Also, when would you like a resolution to this matter before you move on to something else?

BF: I will move on tomorrow if I need to. This is not a situation where I need to hold out and wait for Lateef to fight me because it's not a big money fight. He's a guy who is highly ranked, who also has the right promoter in Gary Shaw. If another offer came along tomorrow, I would move on, but at the same time, it would be nice to fight a guy who lives in the States with a high rating. He has a lot of hype surrounding him with his record being 16-0 with 14 KO.

JA: When would you like the fight to happen, BJ?

BF: I could be ready for him in six weeks. I'm going to be in Miami training with David for his next fight on May 21st, so I could definitely be ready for a fight in six weeks and I'm going to keep calling guys out till I get a fight. I know Marco Huck's representation called me up asking what I'm doing on April 12th and I said, "Nothing." I'm going to start training and preparing myself like I have a fight coming up, whether it's Lateef or Marco, I'm going to be ready. [EDITOR'S NOTE: It won't be Marco Huck, who just announced that he will be defending his title against former champion Giacobbe Fragomeni on April 12.]

JA: You seemed very excited about being in the cruiserweight division with the possible fights you have coming up.

BF: I have a lot of opportunities coming up in the future and now that I'm out of my agreement with Square Ring, I will no longer have anymore long layoffs like I had in the past.

JA: If there was a positive that could come from the situation that you had with Square Ring, what would it be?

BF: The positive is I got to meet and work with Roy [Jones Jr.]. Roy is an amazing fighter and wonderful human being and will always be one of my favorite fighters. Some of the positives were I got to fight on the same cards as Roy, and that will always be special to me. Roy always treated me with the utmost respect, even when I wasn't fighting. Eric Bottjer, who was the matchmaker for Square Ring and would call me and level with the best he could, is also a great guy over at Square Ring. The biggest thing I got out of the whole situation was fighting on the same card as Danny Green in Biloxi, Mississippi and that's ultimately how I got the fight with him. For whatever reason, it didn't work out and I wish them nothing but the best going forward.

JA: If you could rate yourself right now, where do you think you are?

BF: I don't think I'm the best in the world because I didn't prove it in the ring in my last fight when I fought Danny. I believe you're only as good as your last fight. If you go back and watch the fight, you will see a lot of good things that I took from the fight. I was aggressive; I was on him backing him up. Even though I lost the fight, a lot of positives came out of the fight with Danny. I don't feel I'm on top of the division right now, but I want to go out there and fight guys whose rankings are high. When you get a taste of fighting someone rated high in the division, that's all you want.

JA: At the end of 2011, what would you like too see happen in the career of BJ Flores?

BF: I would like to have, realistically, 2 to 3 fights this year. I would like to get two fights with fighters who are ranked in the top 15. If it's the right offer, I don't mind fighting anybody. I still have Lateef, who is rated number four by the WBO, and if you place a real offer for my next fight, I will be more than happy to fight him. Marco Huck would be another amazing opportunity for me to fight him in Germany. Stylistically, Marco is a great fight for me, as he is a fighter who comes straight in without moving his head. Those are two big fights that I would love to make happen.

JA: I know you're very popular with your fans and have a huge following. Talk to your fans for a moment. Anything you want to say in closing?

BF: I appreciate all the support in which I receive. I received a lot of wonderful support from a lot of Australians who still keep in touch with me through Facebook. I love my fans and I appreciate all the support they have given me.

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