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Tony Bellew to defend WBC 200-pound title against BJ Flores

Fighters Network
Hearn (r) with new WBC cruiserweight titleholder Tony Bellew. Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Promoter Eddie Hearn (right) with WBC cruiserweight titleholder Tony Bellew. Photo: Matchroom Boxing

It appears almost certain that Tony Bellew will make the first defense of his WBC cruiserweight title against American veteran BJ Flores on Oct. 15 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

Bellew, who is rated No. 5 by THE RING at 200 pounds, won the vacant belt by flattening the previously unbeaten Ilunga Makabu in three rounds last May and the hard-hitting Englishman is now eager to make his return.

“It’s looking like it’s going to be BJ Flores and I am really looking forward to it,” Bellew told Sky Sports in the UK. “He’s been mouthing off and following me around for a couple of years and I’m just a little bit fed up with him now.

“I am going to smash BJ Flores to bits and be the first man to stop him. All he keeps saying is that I am a light heavyweight; I am this; I am that, so we will soon find out.”

Immediately after blasting his way through Makabu, the 33-year-old Bellew made the surprise announcement that he is desperate to square off with former cruiserweight and heavyweight titleholder David Haye.

Flores and Haye are close friends and Bellew (27-2-1, 17 knockouts) is already using their association as a way to stir the pre-fight hype pot.

“(Flores) has a fantastic coach in Shane McGuigan, at least. But it does mean he will be spending more time with his Playboy nightclub pal (Haye). The one thing about fighting Flores is we could well have fireworks before the fight even begins.

“He needs to tone it down and realize that I am giving him this opportunity and he is giving me nothing. He can do what he does and say what he wants. We’ll see. Come fight night, he is going to be in for a rude awakening.”

The 37-year-old Flores (32-2-1, 20 KOs) has mixed in good company but was found wanting in his two biggest fights. Australian Danny Green outpointed him in 2010, as did former light heavyweight titleholder Beibut Shumenov, in July of last year.