Watch: Bellew vs. Flores official weights
By Scott Gilfoid: WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew (27-2-1, 17 KOs) made weight on Friday in coming in at 199 ¼ pounds for his first and possibly his only title defense against challenger BJ Flores (32-2-1 20 KOs) for their fight on Sky Sports on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
Bellew looked thin with a little bit of loose flesh around his midsection area. This is normal for him though. Those stubborn pounds just seem to stick to Bellew’s sides no matter how much hard work he puts in. I think Bellew could carve up his midsection if he worked REALLY hard, but he might not be strong once the last bit of flab comes off his midsection.
Bellew looked like he was carrying around 10 to 15 pounds of extra weight around his midsection in the form of useless fat. In comparing the physiques of the two fighters, Flores looked to be in MUCH better shape of the two. He was in great condition and looked to be ready to get out there and start throwing punches.
For his part, the 37-year-old Flores weighed in at 198 ¼ pounds.
During the stare down, Bellew was jabbering at Flores nonstop. Like a professional, Flores chose not to get into the mud pit with Bellew, so he turned away from him and faced the crowd. However, Bellew kept yapping and yapping until Flores turned angrily towards him and gave him a piece of his mind. Flores then whispered something to Bellew an walked away. Bellew kept standing there with his hands on his hips, flapping his gums. I couldn’t understand what Bellew was saying unfortunately because of his strong British accent, but it didn’t look like he was wasting time with niceties.
Bellew’s small weight advantage is meaningless for the fight. Even if Bellew balloons up in weight before Saturday’s fight, I don’t think it’s going to be significant. If anything, it might hurt Bellew if he puts too much weight on after he rehydrates because he’ll be slower, easier to hit, and may have stamina problems. After all the trash talking that the 6’2” Bellew did today and during the buildup to this fight, you’d hate to see him gas out after two or three rounds on Saturday night.
As far as the stare down goes, it’s a good thing the American Flores showed some class and walked away, because I got the sense that if he had kept firing back at Bellew with comments, it might have led to some punches being thrown. Bellew had really worked up a lather around his mouth from all the blabbering he was doing. When you see a fighter that has lost it as badly as Bellew had today, I don’t think they’re in complete control of their minds. Flores was the adult here and showed the maturity to walk away. There’s no use him trading punches without gloves on before the fight and risk injury to Bellew or himself.
“In the head to head, I told him a few home truths and I said that I hope he is prepared to go as far as I am tomorrow night. He said ‘ I’m ready.’ I have no stop button and I am going to keep going, so I really hope that he is ready.
Flores said this to skysports.com about the Bellew fight:
“I think this is going to be a great fight because if he does everything he says he is going to do and the fact that I’m not going to quit and can’t give in, something will have to give tomorrow night and I’ll be the one going home victorious.”
Bellew and his promoter Eddie Bellew chose to defend against #14 WBC BJ Flores rather than face #1 WBC mandatory challenger Mairis Breidis for his first defense. With Bellew winning the vacant World Boxing Council title with a third round knockout win over Ilunga Makabu last May in Liverpool, he was technically supposed to defend his title against his mandatory Briedis, but somehow Hearn was able to get him a voluntary defense instead of taking on his mandatory.
That was a smart move by Hearn, because Briedis is a VERY good fighter and would likely beat Bellew in my opinion. Being able to steer around Briedis might keep Bellew as the WBC champion a little bit longer he otherwise would be. Bellew is supposed to take on Briedis next if he gets past Flores. However, Hearn is now talking about wanting to match Bellew up against heavyweight David Haye in his next fight in early 2017. It’s unclear whether the WBC will let Bellew skip past his mandatory challenger Briedis one again. I guess Hearn can justify the move by saying the Bellew-Haye fight won’t have Bellew’s WBC cruiserweight title on the line. However, you would think that the WBC would actually order the Bellew-Briedis fight and make a time limit for the match to get made rather than just letting it go. Briedis could end up waiting for a long time before he eventually gets the title shot that he should have been getting this Saturday night. I mean, I can understand why Bellew and Hearn might not be too eager to fight Briedis, because he’s a very good fighter. Briedis is a bad match-up for Bellew, because Briedis has got power, intelligence and he’s a natural cruiserweight. There are guys that Bellew matches up well against in the WBC’s rankings, but Briedis isn’t one of them.
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