Beibut Shumenov fights BJ Flores at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas later tonight on a PBC card. BJ Flores has come in heavy at the weigh in, which is a bit of a shock, but it’s not a big blowout and he’s always in shape so it shouldn’t have a big impact on the fight. Shumenov was comprehensively outpointed by Bernard Hopkins in April 2014 and he bounced back by defeating Bobby Thomas Jr through a 5th round knockout a few months later.
Flores is on an 8 fight win streak, but his last significant opponent was when he made the trip to Australia in 2010 and he was comprehensively beaten by Danny Green. Flores is now 36, whereas Shumenov is 31. Shumenov is the same height as Flores at “6 2”, so he has filled out easily in his move up from Light Heavyweight. Flores has a 6 inch reach advantage also, but physically there isn’t much difference between the two. Flores isn’t known as a puncher at cruiserweight and Shumenov had solid power at Light Heavyweight, so it should be an even match up, physically.
I have to lean towards Shumenov though, he has been in the ring with better competition lately and he has a few solid wins on his cv. An Ornelas or Campillo 2 type of performance should be enough for Shumenov to get over the line. In recent fights Flores work rate usually fades late in the fight and he can find a way to miss an opportunity. I expect Shumenov to start quickly and build a sizeable lead by the mid way point of the fight, hurting Flores late in the fight and eventually coasting to a UD win.
It’s a fairly even match up apart from the age factor, so this could turn out to be a very appealing and fun fight to watch. So keep a close eye on your tv when it’s on. Another reason to watch is that it’s on free to air tv! Thanks Al Haymon.