New 2017 heavyweight BJ Flores is warming up to the weight nicely and feels sterner tests are now needed moving forward.
The 38 year-old previously informed WBN of his targets for 2018, which include Daniel Dubois, Lucas Browne and Dillian Whyte, whilst Flores was also asked whether he’d consider a return with Tony Bellew.
Representing Bellew’s one and only world title defense at 200 pounds, the American was dropped and stopped in a WBC challenge at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on what the American is adamant was a finish instigated by a punch landed south of the border.
Flores is in no doubt the fight would be a stark contrast if the pair ever met at the higher limit.
“Of course a rematch would be different as the first few rounds were going extremely well for me before the low blow that changed everything,” Flores exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Look, I respect Bellew, and whether he admits it or not, he respects me as he messaged me the following day after our match. Whether it’s ever admitted, he and I both know what happened to change that entire fight at the end of the second round.
“But it is what it is and I’m 100% over it. He won and that’s the end of story.”
Following two victories thus far in the top division, Flores says the time is right to start building towards a potential world title shot.
“I’ve had two surprisingly easy fights at heavyweight this year and I’m ready for a major test,” he pointed out.
“If I could choose one UK opponent it would be Whyte or Dubois as at this point in my career I only want the biggest names and both are very, very challenging fights.
“As you can see with David Haye, Bellew and many others, cruisers can go up to heavy and have an enormous amount of success based on speed, boxing IQ, and conditioning.”
Asked his thoughts on the imminent return of Tyson Fury, potentially against Bellew later in 2017, and a potential unification between Anthony Joshua and his compatriot Deontay Wilder, Flores added: “I love Tyson Fury back. When he is focused and dedicated he is a real force in the division. Not to mention he is one of the most charismatic characters ever to step into the ring and boxing needs that.
“Fury is a great addition to an already completely stacked heavyweight division
“Regarding Bellew, I think he stands a chance against anyone. Of course, Fury would be the favorite but Bellew has been around the block and as you can see for fighters that are completely killing themselves to make weight, a move up is the best thing. Tony has proven he can hang with any class of fighter.
“And Wilder or Joshua? It depends on the night.
“What I love about both guys is neither fighter knows how to cut a corner. Neither fighter knows how to lose.
“Neither fighter will come into the ring thinking of anything else but a KO victory. This is the best fight in boxing and this fight has to be made. Much respect to both,” said Flores.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay