Flores positioning himself for contender role in 2007
LAS VEGAS (December 22, 2006) - Unbeaten cruiserweight B.J. "El Pelogroso" Flores plans on going from prospect to contender with an impressive winning performance January 13 against Chris "Cold Steel" Thomas for the WBF and NBA cruiserweight titles at Knox Arena in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Flores (17-0-1, 12 KOs), reigning WBF All-Americas champion, is rated No. 26 by the WBC, as well as No. 3 by the NABF and No. 5 by the IBA. "I wanted to make a statement against an opponent who poses a real threat," Flores said. "I wanted this fight, he wanted this fight, and Jan. 13 we'll answer all of the questions. A win should get me into the top 15 and after that we'll see which way my team wants to go. I'm not looking past Thomas, who is a good puncher and former NABA champion, but I'd like to get a title shot against (IBF champion) Krzysztof Wlodarchzyk. I'd go to Poland to fight him. (Steve) Cunningham wasn't robbed in his fight against Wlodarchzyk. He didn't land enough clean punches. When you go to the other guy's country you need to knock him out or dominate. You need to grab the brass ring and Cunningham didn't dominate the fight. Wlodarchzyk is perfect for me; he comes straight ahead and doesn't move too much. A fight between us would have a lot of action.
"But I'm training right now to fight Thomas, who has knocked out 14 in his 16 wins. I'm ready to fight dangerous guys like him. I'm not overly concerned but respect his power. I have what it takes to neutralize his power. As a cruiserweight I have the power of a heavyweight with speed. I've had a solid training camp with no distractions. I've done what I have to do to go 12 rounds.....if it does go the distance. It's definitely tougher training around the holidays, but this is my job, my profession, and I do what I have to do and what time's left I spend with family. I just can't put my work aside because of the holidays. There are no days off training for a big fight like this. I respect boxing too much and pay the price. I've been sparring with heavyweights like Malcolm Tann, David Bostice and Terry Smith. We'll be bringing in sharper, taller guys to better simulate Thomas. I'll be in fantastic shape for this fight."
Since dropping down to cruiserweight from heavyweight, after signing a promotional contract with Silverhawk Championship Boxing, Flores has registered back-to-back first-round TKOs of Ali Supreme (15-6) and Gary Dydell (8-2) in his last fight (September 30). A native of San Francisco now living in Phoenix, B.J. was a two-time U.S. National Championships winner (2001-2002) as a heavyweight. His most notable victory as a pro was against former NABO title-holder Jermell Barnes, by a unanimous eight round decision (80-72, 80-72, 78-74).
Thomas has also beaten Supreme (KO8) and Richie LaMontagne (TKO2). The Chicago KO specialist has been in tough against the likes of former world champion Kelvin Davis twice, Emmanuel Nwodo and Felix Coro, Jr.
"I'll celebrate the holidays after the fight," Flores concluded. "I want to shout out to all of my fans and wish them happy holidays, especially those fighting in Iraq who can't be with their families right now."