US cruiserweight and NBC analyst BJ Flores is in a better qualified position than most when it comes to breaking down the David Haye-Tony Bellew fight that is inked for next March and has captured a huge amount of attention here in the UK. Opinion is divided as to whether or not the fight, set for March 4 at heavyweight, is a realistically matched showdown or a mismatch.
Former WBA heavyweight ruler Haye insists he will demolish reigning WBC cruiserweight champ Bellew – even threatening to send his rival to hospital – while Bellew is adamant he will make a successful move up a weight class and that he will shock Haye to defeat. Flores, the last man to face Bellew in the ring as well as being a good friend and spar-mate of Haye’s, has his own view – and it isn’t one that favours Bellew’s chances of pulling off the victory.
Flores, who was stopped inside three rounds by “Bomber” in October, may be a touch biased, yet he kindly took the time to speak with Boxing News about the upcoming grudge-match.
“These are two great boxing personalities, and the next press conference will be very entertaining,” Flores said. “Tony is a good cruiserweight fighter. I have fought some of the best cruisers in the world. Tony is patient and tough and he believes in himself. I found him fairly easy to hit for the first two rounds before the low blow. One thing he does well is close the distance and attack when he smells blood.
“All these things won’t help him against David. David is a much bigger version of himself at cruiser. He is the better boxer and the way bigger puncher. This fight will be very short. As soon as David touches Tony this fight will be instantly over. Tony will try but he won’t be durable enough to trade with David. It’s a very big difference, David at 230-pounds and seven years stronger than when he was at 200 pounds.”
Of course, Bellew has proven the experts wrong before. Can he do so, to dramatic effect, next March?