By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
IBO super middleweight champion Sakio Bika talks to Fightnews and explains why he wants to fight Bernard Hopkins, why he thinks he gave Joe Calzaghe his toughest fight, how he nearly drowned before the Lucian Bute fight and how he feels Anthony Mundine is dodging him.
Your win over Pete Manfredo was impressive. He had been the distance with big punching Jeff Lacy but you stopped him in three rounds. Did you plan to stop him early?
I didn’t plan to stop him early but I was very confident that I was going to win this fight. Manfredo is a good fighter but I know I am a better fighter than he is. I had worked very hard for this fight and I was determined to become a world champion.
In regards to Jeff Lacy, he is another person on my hit list I would like to target in 2009.
You have said you want to fight Bernard Hopkins. Did you see him defeat Kelly Pavlik? Would you be confident of defeating the great 43-year-old legend Hopkins?
Yeah I saw Bernard Hopkins fight Kelly Pavlik. I was looking to challenge the winner of that fight on the night. I have always thought Bernard is a great fighter. I want to fight the best fighters in the division to prove I am the best. I am looking forward to hearing Bernard’s response to my challenge. I think it would be a great fight for the fans.
You gave Joe Calzaghe one of his toughest fights. Can you tell me about this fight. Was your preparation 100%?
I think I gave Joe the toughest fight of his whole career. I would gladly fight him again as he is one of the best fighters in the world. I think I did extremely well in that fight considering I had an operation on my right elbow six weeks before the fight. I was unable to train properly and use my right hand in that fight. I could not turn down the opportunity when I was offered the fight for the world title.
Before your bout with current IBF super middleweight Lucian Bute – you nearly drowned in the hotel swimming pool. Can you tell me about this?
Firstly, I went to cool down in the hotel swimming pool to try to relax my muscles after training. I didn’t think that the pool was that deep and I just jumped in. I cannot swim. I almost drowned. As a child I never learnt how to swim. My trainer saved me. After this happened, I was not well.
Was the southpaw style of Bute a problem for you?
Lucian Bute is one of the best southpaws in the world. I have fought a lot of southpaws in my career so it is nothing new to me. I felt that the referee did not enable me to fight my own fight. I was in Lucian’s backyard so it was difficult for me to win. I would also like to fight him again if he wants to unify the belts. I won’t be going swimming again before my fights!
Your bout with Jaidon Codrington to win the Contender series was a great fight – one of your best. Can Codrington make it to the top?
Thanks. I am always looking to please my fans by providing a great fight. I was happy to hear that the Contender Series Finale was chosen to be on ESPN Classics. It depends on Codrington whether he can make it to the top. He is talented and has the potential to be a great fighter. He needs to believe in himself and his abilities.
Is Anthony Mundine dodging you. Did you offer to fight him? Was there any offer?
Yes Anthony Mundine is dodging me. I have challenged him on numerous occasions with no response. He has NEVER given me an offer to fight him. He has quoted to the media numerous times that he has made offers to me but I have held out for more money, none of this is true. He is scared of me. Khoder Nasser has met with me on a few occasions trying to make the fight happen. I told him to contact my manager but nothing ever happened. Many fans would like to see this fight happen.