I recently had a chance to speak with cruiserweight contender and respected NBC analyst B.J. Flores. Flores is coming off a decision loss to former light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov and his looking to return this December to get back on a winning track. Besides talking about his future, Flores discussed the recent bump in the road for a potential Pacquiao-Khan fight and what direction he could see Pacquiao going next. B.J. also talked about Floyd Mayweather’s all-time rank and where he places him among the greats. Additionally Flores shares his views on the I.V. scandal and also gives his thoughts on Canelo-Cotto. Here is what B.J. Flores had to say.
Robert Brown: What can you tell us about your future in the sport? Do you have any ideas what’s next?
BJ Flores: Yeah I’ll be fighting again in December. They haven’t given me a date exactly when but I’ll definitely be doing something in December and then we’ll have a big announcement after that. The December fight is just another fight to get back out there and get on TV again.
I’m not sure who I’ll be facing and to be honest wit you, I don’t know what weight I’ll be fighting at. It’s gonna be interesting with what weight I’ll be fighting at. We’re looking at some options right now.
Robert Brown: The proposed Pacquiao-Khan deal seems to have fallen through, what are your thoughts on this?
BJ Flores: I think the main thing is that Amir is a very good fighter but he’s gotta remember against Floyd and against Manny, he’s the B side, so it doesn’t always happen on his terms. When they’re ready to decide when it is, then he’s gotta sit back and play cool and not make it like he’s the one controlling everything because he’s not.
Manny fights who he wants to fight and Floyd fights who he wants to fight. Amir is on the B side trying to act like he gets to make all the decisions and that’s his prerogative if he wants to but I think he’s cost himself some fights by doing that, by jumping the gun a little early.
Amir should just be quiet and see what happens and take it if he gets an offer, and if he doesn’t then he can make another move. He always tries to make it like it’s not happening on his time or it’s not enough, but he’s forgetting he’s the B side of those fights.
Robert Brown: Do you think Khan has put himself in a position where he has to take whatever he can get?
BJ Flores: Who does he want to fight is the question. He wants to fight Manny but Manny doesn’t really want to fight him. What other big name welterweights are out there for him? Shawn Porter is now going to fight Keith Thurman, who’s really left for Amir to fight besides Kell Brook?
Amir doesn’t want to fight Kell Brook because he knows he’s dangerous. Kell Brook is a very good fighter but he hasn’t beaten the same types of names that Amir has and Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman have. To be honest with you, Keith Thurman’s got a couple of decent wins but Amir’s got a better resume than Keith Thurman as well. He just doesn’t want to give Kell Brook the shot, even though that’s probably the most logical fight to make for Amir.
Sometimes you want to be the biggest fish in your own pond and you really don’t want any debate about that, you just want to be the big fish. I think Amir Khan is trying to not recognize the talent and the abilities that Kell Brook has coming up and he just doesn’t even want to give him a pay day to make that.
Khan doesn’t want Kell Brook to make his name off of him. Kell Brook is a very good fighter and it would be a very interesting fight, but Amir is going to do what he wants to do and he’s earned his stripes to where he can do that.
Robert Brown: As for Manny Pacquaio, who’s out there for him?
BJ Flores: There’s a lot of guys out there for him, but are there a lot of guys that Bob Arum wants to do business with? There’s a lot of guys, if you look at Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter. There’s a lot of guys out there that at 147lbs would be very good match ups — even Kell Brook would be a good matchup for Manny.
Bob doesn’t really want to make any moves unless he’s got both sides, so it kind of makes it difficult, and I understand that. Manny could have been in a lot of really good fights, and not to say that he wasn’t, but he could have been in a lot more good fights recently if they were willing to work with other sides a little more.
You gotta be careful how you say that because Manny has fought so many good fighters, he’s had an amazing career and is without a question a Hall of Famer. He’s a great champion, one of the best in this era, but he could have been in with Thurman and Porter. People can say the same thing about Floyd but Floyd was on another level than Manny was, and it is what it is.
Robert Brown: Do you think it would have been better if Manny promoted himself?
BJ Flores: I don’t think so because I don’t think he has the personality to promote himself. Floyd did, Floyd was able to go out there and speak English and go talk to people and make people hate him and Manny just doesn’t have the personality for it.
I think having somebody like Bob really helped him out and made his career. To be honest with you, if he hadn’t have done that, he would have never made that much money to fight Floyd, and now he can retire and do whatever he wants.
Robert Brown: Now that Floyd is retired, where do you put him in terms of the best fighters of all time?
BJ Flores: If you look at what he did at 130lbs, his fights with Genaro Hernandez and his fights with Angel Manfredy. Then he moved up to 135lbs and fought Castillo and gets the rematch with Castillo and beats him. Castillo was a beast back then. Then moved up to 140lbs and beat all those guys.
Floyd’s not the most entertaining fighter that has ever been in the ring, by any means, but he’s a true consummate professional and he comes to work every single day and gives his best. He’s blessed with an incredible amount of talent and ability, and whenever you get talent and ability and you blend that in with the type of work ethic that Floyd Mayweather has, it’s definitely something that is to be respected.
I’m not gonna say he’s the best of all time, he certainly could be but I don’t know. It’s almost impossible to say but he’s definitely one of the best of all time and he’s really dominated almost twenty years of boxing and it’s unbelievable.
Even to win one of two title defenses against anybody in any weight bracket is amazing but he’s done it at 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154. Everybody has a bad night but even on Floyd Mayweather’s bad nights he’s found a way to pull out the victory and do enough to win the fights, so you gotta give him props for that.
Robert Brown: What do you think about the scandal that broke out about Floyd and the saline drip, do you think there’s any substance in this?
BJ Flores: No, it’s just chasing elephants. If there was anything then the WADA of USADA would have stepped in and had a problem with it. It is what it is.
Robert Brown: Do you think this scandal will damage Floyd’s legacy at all?
BJ Flores: I don’t know if it will mess with his legacy but I don’t think so. I don’t think there was anything. I can’t talk about saline for fighters, I can’t see how that would tarnish his legacy. It doesn’t to me by any means and if neither the restricting body of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and USADA found anything wrong with what he did, then I think it’s kind of a moot point.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts and prediction on the upcoming Miguel Cotto vs. Saul Alvarez match?
BJ Flores: I think it’s gonna be a great fight because Canelo is coming up, he’s a great body puncher but Cotto is gonna have a few tricks up his sleeve. I think people are gonna be surprised at how up Cotto is for this fight and I think it’s gonna be interesting early. People forget that Cotto is a puncher as well.