Some fights flat out suck and when a fighter is called BJ it should come as no shock when he's involved in a really, really, sucky fight. That was the case on Saturday night in the US when Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10) took on the hapless, and genuinely terrible, BJ Flores (31-2-1, 20). The bout didn't just suck, but it showed how inept both men were as they made for a poor excuse for a WBA “interim” Cruiserweight title contest.
Early on Flores looked the bigger man and looked like the boss as he came forward, landed hard looking right hands and looked like the boss. For the first 2 rounds Flores looked like he was going to make this very easy for himself and seemed like he was simply going to be too strong for the Kazakh.
In round 3 the fight changed with Shumenov using intelligent movement and making Flores look like an imbecile. The American plodded forward, trying to land single right hands but being made to look like a total novice. It was the change in the fight that really became rather telling as Flores, a supposed “expert analyst”, didn't seem to have any idea of how to answer the movement of Shumenov.
The movement of the Kazakh saw him claim round 4 to level up, if not secure the lead, in the fight.
Through the middle of the fight things swung from one way to another but on the whole it seemed like we had a runner versus a plodder. Shumenov was running, he wasn't hiding it and he wasn't trying to make it the basis of much offense, instead preferring single shots. Flores on the other hand plodded around the ring looking lost. Every so often Shumenov would slow down, Flores would land a couple of solid looking right hands, and take the round but neither man managed to create much momentum.
Going in to the final third it was really close. We, like the PBC announcers, had the bout even after 8 and it really was all to play for. Then we saw Shumenov dominate with his movement whilst Flores did nothing other than plod. The offense, from both, was minimal for the final 4 rounds but Shumenov seemed to be comfortably the more aggressive man, whilst also being the more negative, Flores plodded but threw little, showing his ineptitude at cutting off the ring.
Going in to the final round it was clear Flores was behind and even his corner seemed to know it as they instructed him to cut the ring. Amazingly Flores admitted what was clear and that he didn't know what to do, as he asked “how?”, as in “how do I cut the ring off?” By then it was pointless in asking, he had thrown away 3 key rounds by plodding and following Shumenov, rather than cutting the ring off. Even with his trainer's instructions before round 12, he showed no real ability to cut the ring and even lost that round as well.
Although it had been competitive, yet dull, through 8 rounds, the final 4 were clear with Flores doing nothing through them as he lost by scores of 116-112 on all 3 cards.
After the fight Shumenov seemed to indicate that his relationship with trainer Ismael Salas has become a good one, Flores however acted like a spoilt brat and complained about the tactics used by Shumenov. It was clear that whilst Shumenov wasn't “exciting” but the complaining by Flores after the bout made him seem little more than a whiny child, and one who really needs to understand the sport than he has been involved in for most of his life.
Whilst Shumenov is now the WBA “interim” Cruiserweight champion it was obvious that he wasn't a world class Cruiserweight and he should be all he can to avoid the “regular” champion Denis Lebedev, who really would chew him up and spit out if the two were to ever meet.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.