Former World Boxing Council champion Sakio Bika has spoken out following the cancellation of a scheduled clash with UK legend Nigel Benn.
Bika, 40, was due to face Benn in the 1990’s icon’s epic comeback bid after two decades away from the sport.
With just over three weeks to go, Benn pulled out citing a shoulder injury for the collapse of preparations for a Birmingham return.
‘The Scorpion’ was ready to end his own two-year exile on November 23. The Australia-based Cameroonian now faces a wait after Benn was forced to retire for good.
Speaking about his decision, Benn announced: “With a heavy heart, I am sad to say I had to make the hard decision today to hang up my boxing gloves.
“I’d like to thank you all for supporting me throughout my career but the time is up for me.
“I thank you all for giving me an unbelievable career. God bless you all.”
Reflecting in an exclusive interview with World Boxing News, Bika admitted his eyebrows were raised to initially get the call.
“I was surprised initially. But after a while, I found it to be a great opportunity to showcase my comeback fight after a long layoff,” Bika explained to WBN.
“Obviously, I’m a little disappointed that the fight is off. I’ve been working really hard in the gym over the past six months. Training was going very well.”
Asked whether he had any reservations about hitting a 55-year-old man, Bika replied: “No I didn’t because this is a business.
“We work hard and we train hard. I have no doubt if he was going to fight Nigel Benn would have been in great shape.”
And when does he now plan to be back in action?
“I have been working hard with training and sparring over the past two years. So I’m looking to return to the ring as soon as possible.
“I still believe I can beat all the champions in both the light heavyweight and super middleweight divisions,” he declared.
Concluding on how long he believes may be left in his career, Bika stated: “I plan on having two more fights. I’m willing to fight anyone they put in front of me.
“I feel strong and sharp in the gym. I feel the same way I felt when I fought both Andre ward and Joe Calzaghe a few years ago.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay