Suit and tie, side of the ring, firing off smart, insightful commentary like he’s firing off precision punches, it’s easy to settle in with B.J. Flores, the analyst, when you listen to him broadcast NBC fights.
But you’ve got to remember, the gift of gab takes a backseat to the gift of jab.
When Flores faces off with Beibut Shumenov on Saturday night in Las Vegas, he’s stepping in the ring for the first time in nine months. But Flores wasn’t inactive that whole time. He’s been broadcasting PBC fights since March.
Since 2008, B.J. Flores has made a name on the other side of the ring. After he beat Darnell Wilson that February, ESPN invited him in as a guest analyst. He ended up working for the Worldwide Leader for three years before moving to NBC for the last four. Now the two sides of his career feed off each other.
“It gives you a lot of different perspectives on how different fighters prepare for fights because I can sit down and talk with them,” Flores said. “It gives me some outside information as far as what other fighters do so I can compare and contrast what I’m doing so I can make sure I’m training at a high level.”
Being able to break down a fight is a useful skill, but it doesn’t always play out in a calm, analytical way in the ring. There’s not much calm involved in having someone slinging meat hooks at your dome.
That’s why, though, it becomes important to see what an opponent is capable of from a safe remove, and build a game plan outside the ring. Because what happens between the ropes happens fast.
“It’s more a reactive thing,” he said. “What I’m thinking inside my head is sometimes different than what I’m doing with my body. A lot of people can see things but they can’t actually do them. So many different factors come into the equation with a situation like that.
“You might be able to see all day what a guy is doing and how to take advantage of it, but you don’t have the speed or the power or the quickness or the ability to get it done. So that’s the big difference between talking about and being able to do it. But I think it definitely helps me in the ring though.”
For full coverage of Shumenov vs Flores, make sure to stay tuned to our fight page.