BJ FLORES TALKS PROMOTERS
By Michael Walters
Boxingtalk: So [promoter] Gary Shaw said Layteef Kayode is looking for bigger fights and therefore Kayode-Flores is not in the cards. How do you respond to that?
BJ Flores: Thatís his job as a promoter. Obviously he wants to get his guy the biggest fights. He probably wants to target one of the one of the champions, but in my opinion he (Kayode) didnít beat Antonio Tarver so it still remains to be seen what he would do against one of those champions or if he is even going to take the fight with one of those champions. I know Kayode was offered [WBO champion] Marco Huck just before he was offered Antonio Tarver, and turned Huck down, so if heís ready to take on a Marco Huck or ready to take on a guy like that, fine. Go fight him and I wish you the best, but if youíre not and youíre going to stick around and probably fight another fight on Showtime, and try to fight another fight here in America, then I am the only guy left in America for you to fight.
BT: You are now signed with Don King Promotions was that a strategic move to get a shot at Guillermo Jones, the WBA title holder?
BF: Originally, yes it was. Then we saw where we were rated in the WBO, the WBA, and the WBC and we are high in all of them now and I attribute that to Don. He wanted me to go after one of the other guys (belt holders) and get one of those other guys before (fighting) Guillermo. Guillermo is looking for opponents, too. Guillermo is trying to fight one of those big names, too. I thought I was going to be able to get Guillermo originally, but it doesnít look like that. If I canít get one of the other champions, then we might as well make a fight between Guillermo and me.
BT: With most of the best cruiserweights fighting in Europe, did you look to try and sign with Sauerland Event or one of the other European promoters?
BF: I didnít really talk to them too much to be honest with you. I mean they donít really promote anybody over here. I know they had Steve Cunningham, but I think that was more of a strategic move to get the title from him to get it to Yoan Pablo Hernandez. I donít think they had any real interest in promoting him. I think they just signed him to just use his name and his credibility because he beat Marco Huck and heís getting a little older now.
BT: Is Cunningham somebody that you would be interested in fighting?
BF: If somebody wanted to put it on a network, then absolutely, itís just tough to say. Steve Cunningham hasnít fought in the United States in four years, but he still has a recognizable name. The networks, I think just donít have an interest in him and the same could be said about me. Maybe the networks arenít interested in me so itís just tough. But I would fight him, of course I would. Heís a top guy a top-rated guy and in any other division when you fight another top-rated guy there is at least a little bit of money available and itís just not the case in America with cruiserweights. Thatís why I have had to go back to the drawing board and build up my hometown of Springfield, Missouri and get that going because thatís the only to stay active and stay relevant in the division is if you are drawing fans and making money because it doesnít seem like any promoters can really provide that. I have only had one fight with Don and that was a fight I did in Springfield and they brought in Sechew Powell and Corey Spinks on the undercard and did a great job with that, but I paid myself. It was all out of money that I drew, on people that I brought in, thatís how I get paid. I didnít ride on anyoneís coattails; you eat what you kill, thatís it.
BT: Your career has been filled with gaps of inactivity. How has that hurt you with the fans and with the networks?
BF: It has hurt me a lot thereís no question about it. When I signed with Square Ring, I was out of the ring for 15 months and there was nothing I could do about that and thatís really the only time I have been that inactive. There have been other times when it was 6 or 7 months, but 15 months is a long, long, time. I attribute that directly to John Wirt.
BT: Is there anything youíd like to say in closing?
BF: I just want to say I look forward to this Saturday night on NBC Sports [with the main event of] Tomasz Adamek and Eddie Chambers. This series is taking off and a lot of good things are coming from it. Itís going to be a lot bigger next year so get ready for that.
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