WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew is set to defend his title against American BJ Flores on October 15 when the Liverpudlian makes his return to the Echo Arena.
The 33 year-old makes the first defence of the belt he won at Goodison Park in May when knocking out Junior Makabu in three rounds and fights at the Liverpool Docklands venue following a 16-month absence.
Bellew previously defeated Ivica Bacurin at the venue when keeping busy for his impending title shot, stopping the Croatian in ten rounds. ‘The Bomber’ followed it up with victories over Arturs Kulikauskis and Mateusz Masternak before taking out Makabu to seal his lifelong ambition and comes into the Flores bout in the form of his life.
Opponent Flores, 37, was picked out by Bellew and promoter Eddie Hearn for the autumn due to persistent needle between the two, coupled with the fact that the Californian is a good friend of number one target, David Haye. Flores and Haye have trained and partied together on numerous occasions in Miami, giving Bellew ample reason to want to upset the former heavyweight champion of the world ahead of possible 2017 contest.
Flores and Haye have trained and partied together on numerous occasions in Miami, giving Bellew ample reason to want to upset the former heavyweight champion of the world ahead of possible 2017 contest.
Haye has stated an encounter at around 210 pounds could be considered against Bellew next year, although cruiserweight’s newest champion cannot afford any slip-ups against Flores and fully intends to test his desire.
Speaking to WBN on Thursday, Bellew said: “We will find out soon enough just how much BJ Flores really wants it!”
A full undercard is expected to be announced by Matchroom Sport by September.