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Q&A: WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photo: Team Bika

In a Fightnews.com interview, newly crowned WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika named Carl Froch, Gennady Golovkin and Andre Ward as fighters he’s like to fight. He also discussed his relationship with advisor Al Haymon, and predicted his friend and IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale will be successful against Darren Barker on August 17 in Atlantic City.

Congratulations on winning the WBC super middleweight crown by defeating Marco Antonio Periban. Was this one of your toughest fights? Do you think he can win a world title?

Yes suprisingly it was one of my toughest fights, 6’2 has always been something interesting. Anyone can win a world title if they have the will and are hungry, regardless of experience.

Would you be confident of defeating WBA/IBF champion Carl Froch in a multi million dollar unification bout? We’re you impressed with his win over Mikkel Kessler?

Definitely, Carl Froch is the fight I want. I don’t see anything getting in the way of my path. I have done everything in my power and am still continuing to update my training methods and technical skills every day. This is the fight all boxing fans around the world want to see. As for Carl’s fight with Kessler, I was very impressed and I respect his skills because he has earned it and always comes to fight. I feel we are in the same boat because we always come to fight and never make excuses.

WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has said he could move up to super middleweight. Would you be confident in defeating Golovkin in a multi million dollar bout? We’re you impressed with his stoppage of Mathew Macklin? Would his power be a problem for you?

Firstly, Golovkin is a good fighter. At this point in time if he hypothetically moved up to super middleweight and the money was there then I don’t see why not. The point I’m trying to make is that the fights I want must be top contenders, but most importantly at the end of the day they have to be beltholders. I enjoy watching his fights, his stoppage over Macklin was good. Time will tell what happens.

Is a rematch with Andre Ward who is regarded as the best super middleweight in the world on your radar?

If the network wants the rematch then why not? At this point in time, the super-middleweight division is very strong and similar to the days of Hagler, Sugar Ray, Hearns and Duran. The competition is head to head, any different game plan or punch can change everything. I don’t think anyone is dominating the division, as it is very competitive.

Your Australian trainers are Michael Akkawy and David Birchell. Who trained you for the Marco Antonio Periban WBC title bout in the USA?

In Australia, the Team Bika family consists of a variety of trainers. For the Periban fight Mick Akkawy took the position of Head Coach, but also David Birchell assisted me in my sprints as well as quality technical sparring. Mick guided my skills through padwork and game plan. As I entered my training camp in America, Kevin Cunningham brought everything together, from initial game plan to style, to fixing my flaws, to mentality, without changing anything completely, this was the beauty of the camp. Justin Fitzgerald aided in assisting me through basic routine workouts to aid my main training.

You are managed by Al Haymon who also guides Floyd Mayweather Jr. Haymon is regarded as one of the most powerful people in boxing. How much of your success is due to Al Haymon?

Al Haymon is a great manager and great person. In regards to my success, I am thankful for Al Haymon for organizing fights to put my future on the right track. At the end of the day I’ve always worked hard with blood, sweat and tears, and Al Haymon knows this, and yes a lot of my career has gone in the right direction because of Al Haymon.

You have recently became good friends to all time great world super middleweight champion Nigel Benn who is now living in Sydney. How did you meet Nigel? Is he one of your boxing idols?

I met Nigel through my old trainer and good friend of mine Mark Pitts. Nigel held his world title for a long time with many successful defenses proving he was one of the best world champions to have held the WBC world title belt. He was definitely was someone I learnt from.

Another friend of yours is Daniel Geale, who defends the IBF middleweight title against Darren Barker in Atlantic City on August 17. You have worked in sparring with Daniel for several of his fights. Will you be working with him for Barker fight?

I am not sure. It depends on the game plan and what style of sparring partner he needs. Also, at this point as I have just finished camp and a big fight, I am spending time with my family before heavy training starts again. I am confident Daniel will be successful and will win the fight. Also, a great fighter and friend is Ben McCulloch who is a regular sparring partner of Daniel Geale. Daniel always picks quality for sparring and never backs down.




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