By Allan Cerf
October 15, Everton Echo Arena, Liverpool, it’s Cruiserweights Tony “Bomber” Bellew vs. B.J. “El Peligroso” (dangerous) Flores.
Background: The British are obsessed - have always been, with "value for money.”
From Beatles albums to Jaguars- from bread to boxing: “is an expenditure on this or that good value?”
Trust boxing to possibly screw up a good formula. On paper, good value.
Two very large, fairly heavy-handed fighters near the top of their division, fighting before a nutty, local crowd of boxing-mad Britons. Bellew has more talent and while I don’t understand British odds-making, I saw a pie-chart and the
Bellew slice was larger than the Flores slice.
Cruiserweight is a division many feel shouldn’t exist.
Two hundred-pounds--why not put men as big as these in with the heavies? Because heavyweights of 6’7” and well over abound, athletic as hell. Perhaps the old British mingling of light-heavy and cruiser would be a better?
Consider: at Light-Heavyweight, Bellew failed big-time in a step-up bout against Adonis Stevenson, losing by KO in 6. But he also lost against Nathan Cleverly at LH. But Cleverly lost to Kovalev. Wait.
Bellew said he would win a cruiser rematch vs. ‘Clev’ and did - though the fight was the Welshman’s to win. Bellew is younger, has had better competition and is more athletic as a boxer.
Flores, always a cruiserweight, is a top-notch all-round athlete, but as we see countless times--boxing is simply different and between the ropes, Bellow has more skills to pay bills.
Scorecards: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Stamina, Age, Experience)
Tony Bellew: (Average of all) C+
B.J. Flores: (Average of all) C+
Reality check: So what might make this scrap “not good value for money?” The two could fight to a boring decision. Both have able jabs but are hardly Lennox Lewis - their rapiers set up punches only.
The worry is that Flores is getting long in tooth (both are) and the “Bomber” really isn’t. Both aren’t big punchers. I’m hoping that both get “stuck-in,” to maintain my British theme and blaze away until one falls--likely Flores. A jab fest between aging pugilists we don’t need.
Personal: Après-ring, these are two of the smartest. The somewhat frightening Bellew, a part-time model, and actor (Creed) is really sharp.
Flores so much so that he is now a boxing commentator. Both are family men. Flores has toughness ingrained; his father, a pilot, survived a Sierras crash when he and a passenger went 49 days, mainly on snow. A Mormon, while on sabbatical, young Flores by chance ended up in Culiacan, the hometown of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. whom he befriended. Here, he earned the ‘dangerous’ moniker. What are the odds!
Prediction: Speaking of odds, the British do them well, and I like Bellew all the way by TKO 10.