Flores spices up fight with Andy Ruiz taunt
Alexander Flores has taunted Joseph Parker, claiming the Kiwi lost to Andy Ruiz in their WBO world heavyweight title fight.
Put it down to loyalty, but Flores is adamant that Ruiz, a fellow MexicanAmerican, won the December, 2016, fight in Auckland for the belt vacated by Tyson Fury.
Parker came from behind to claim a majority points decision, a result that drew plenty of criticism but launched Parker to international stardom and millionaire status.
Flores had Ruiz involved in his Californian training camp and built a good friendship as he prepared to fight Parker in Christchurch next Saturday.
Flores fronted the media in Auckland yesterday and didn’t hold back when asked his thoughts about the Parker v Ruiz fight. ‘‘Actually, he did lose to Andy Ruiz . . . obviously he was gifted that fight, we know that for a fact,’’ Flores said.
‘‘I saw the fight again recently. Don’t get me wrong, it was a close fight but Andy edged it out.’’
Flores wants to do what Ruiz couldn’t and become Mexico’s first world heavyweight champion. He sees Parker as a good launching pad to that dream and knows the Kiwi’s scalp would be treasured.
‘‘It’s a huge opportunity,’’ Flores said. While he came into the pro ranks two years before Parker, Flores hasn’t had the same promotional opportunities in a 19-fight career that features 15 knockouts in 17 wins with one loss and a draw.
He hasn’t had the same class of opposition as Parker (24-2) but believes he can make up for that with the sort of people he has surrounded himself with.
He has had title contender Dominic Breazeale and former world champion Charles Martin, the only fighter to beat him, helping him in sparring along with other quality fighters.
‘‘Joseph has more experience than me on his record but experience comes from sparring too,’’ a confident Flores said, reiterating his belief he can be the first fighter to knock out Parker.
‘‘When you are sparring with top contenders and world champions sometimes you are learning more in sparring than actual fights. We have the best heavyweights out in California.
‘‘If I wasn’t confident I wouldn’t be taking this fight. I know what needs to be done and I’ve had great quality sparring and I don’t see this fight going the distance.’’
Flores is itching for action.
‘‘My camp went well, I’m ready to go. I told my coach a couple of weeks ago I was ready to fight there and then. But the more time the better, I guess, for sharpening the tools.’’
The fight will now be over 12 rounds not 10 with the interim WBA Oceania title on the line which will be valuable to the winner in terms of future rankings.
Alexander Flores isn’t afraid of calling out Kiwi rival Joseph Parker.