By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Sakio Bika is the current IBO super middleweight champion and gave super middleweight legend Joe Calzaghe, one of his toughest bouts and also was the winner of the 2007 Contender Series. Along with Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade, Bika is one of the most qualified super middleweights to miss out on SHOWTIME’s 168 pound tournament. Fightnews spoke to Bika about the state of the division.
What are your thoughts on Showtime’s super middleweight tournament?
The Showtime Tournament is great for boxing. I was very surprised to hear about this tournament and disappointed that I was not offered to be in it. I am not sure how they chose the six fighters, but I believe I have a much better fight record than some of those fighters chosen and have proven myself as a great contender in this division. I have shown myself to be an exciting strong fighter the crowds like to see. The Contender series 3 finale was put on ESPN Classics. Joe Calzaghe even said I was one of the hardest opponents in his whole career. I am the current IBO super middleweight champion and rated IBF#3. I just feel very unhappy and disappointed that I cannot have the opportunity to be in this tournament to show the world that I am the best in the division. I have always had a hard time getting opponents because people just don’t want to take the risk fighting me so I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that I am not in it.
Do you think you have the skills and power to defeat Kessler, Abraham, Froch etc?
I definitely have the skills and power to defeat any of the fighters in this tournament. Unfortunately, I cannot prove this now as I am not in the tournament.
Kessler is said to be the hot favorite to win. Who do you regard as the best. and why?
It doesn’t matter to me who the best is. I’m one of the best and I should be in this tournament.
Are there any other super middleweights besides yourself that should be included such as Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade?
I agree, both Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade should be in the tournament. They are both great fighters and should be in the tournament so that the true champion can be revealed in the super middleweight division.
You are ranked IBF#3 and will be offered an elimination bout soon after Bute defends against Andrade. Are you keen to fight for the IBF title?
Of course. I am keen to win the IBF title and unify the belts.
Bute defeated you previously. Can you win a return bout? Why?
Yes I can win a return bout. Last time I fought Bute, I was very sick and almost drowned in the hotel pool the day before my fight. I never learnt how swim and decided to cool down after training. I didn’t realize there was a deep end of the pool and jumped straight in. I know I can beat Bute and would not go near any swimming pools before the fight!