B.J. Flores is a former cruiserweight title challenger and a highly respected boxing commentator. Flores, 37, has amassed a career boxing record of 31-2-1 20KO’s and is looking to make one final run at a world title. B.J.’s last ring appearance saw him come up short in a cruiserweight title fight, losing a decision to Beibut Shumenov.
I recently had a chance to interview B.J. Flores to get his views on his career as a commentator and his possible future in the heavyweight division. Flores talks about his expected return to the ring and why he is considering fighting at heavyweight. Additionally, Flores breaks down Thurman vs. Porter gives his thoughts on Bradley-Pacquiao 3. Here is what B.J Flores had to say.
(Listen to the full interview audio here)
Robert Brown: It was recently announced that you will be commentating on the upcoming Olympics. What are your thoughts on getting this opportunity?
BJ Flores: I’m very excited, it was a great opportunity to do the Olympics in 2012. I didn’t get to go to London but I was in studio with Fred Roggin doing all of the studio analysis work and breaking down the fights. It’s just really exciting to be part of 2016, my second Olympics. It’s a great opportunity and a great blessing.
Robert Brown: What is coming up with you in your pro career?
BJ Flores: I’m gonna have some type of fight, sometime in March and then we’re looking to have big fight in May. It’s gonna be interesting to see how this fight in March goes because I’m testing some new waters, this will be a fight at heavyweight in my first fight back in March. I’m looking forward to a new challenge and some different competition, and based on how that fight goes in March we’re gonna decide if we’re gonna stay at heavyweight or go back to cruiserweight for the fight in May. I’m keeping my options open.
Robert Brown: Suddenly there’s a lot of excitement in the heavyweight division. What do you think of the division right now?
BJ Flores: There’s plenty of excitement. I’m looking to fight this fight at heavyweight against someone decent, I want to fight someone who is a middle of the road heavyweight to see where I’m at. I’m not looking to fight the Tyson Fury’s or the Deontay Wilder’s, but guys like Ruslan Chagaev or even Lucas Browne, guys kind of that size.
You saw that Marco Huck was able to go up to heavyweight and he was good. Steve Cunningham was very successful at heavyweight. All those good cruiserweights were very successful at heavyweight and I’m just gonna test it out. In the meantime I don’t have any big fights at cruiserweight so I might as well go up to heavyweight and stay busy and keep active.
Robert Brown: I want to get your thoughts on the upcoming Thurman vs. Porter match. Who would you be favoring at this stage?
BJ Flores: I can’t really say, I think it’s as good of a fifty-fifty fight as there is, both guys are very successful. I think we saw when Robert Guerrero was able to get inside on Keith Thurman, he was able to have a lot of success later in the fight, but we also saw that Keith Thurman is the real deal with how he dominated Robert Guerrero much stronger than Danny Garcia.
I think both fighters have huge strengths in the ring, both fighters are very dedicated, they’re both young, hungry and have power. I don’t really know who I’d favor right now. If I had to pick someone I’d probably pick Shawn Porter because he knows his identity and he knows what he’s gotta do to win the fight. Porter’s gotta get inside, but I think Keith can make him pay a heavy price on the way in, and that’s gonna be something that they gotta figure out how to avoid.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts on the third match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley? Are you surprised this fight is happening again?
BJ Flores: I’m not surprised because we’ve always seen from Bob Arum that he likes to match his fighters in house, and it’s too bad because I wish he would give Manny Pacquiao a chance to fight somebody else besides Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley. Timothy Bradley is a great fighter and a great champion, but we’ve already seen it twice and neither time it was that close, in my opinion. I think that Manny Pacquiao is the better fighter and I think they’re just shoving this fight down people’s throats.
Tim’s a great fighter and a great champion, but I’d like to see Tim face other guys besides Manny, there’s a lot of good names out there that he can fight, like Thurman, Porter, and Errol Spence. People would love to see Tim fight those guys, and he matches up very well with all of those guys. I just think that it’s a bit of a lukewarm feeling with Bradley and Pacquiao because we’ve already seen it twice and it wasn’t that compelling the first two times, it seemed like Pacquiao clearly won both fights, so it makes it a little difficult to swallow the third time.
Robert Brown: Do you see Teddy Atlas making much of a difference in the third fight?
BJ Flores: No, I don’t see him making much of a difference at all. You can’t make too big of a deal out of the Brandon Rios fight, Rios is a good fighter at 140lbs but he’s been very undisciplined over the last couple of years and his last couple of fights, losing to Mike Alvarado and looking very ordinary against some other guys. Rios just hasn’t had the same hunger and determination and he’s even admitted that, so I don’t know how stopping Brandon Rios all of the sudden makes you ready to beat Manny Pacquiao, I don’t see the translation.
It is what it is, another Top Rank fighter gets another Top Rank fighter. It’s just too bad that they’re not able to venture out a little bit and Tim is not able to test his skills against some of the other welterweights, and same thing about Manny, I wish they were.