He calls himself “The Scorpion,” but for Sakio Bika, “The Road Warrior” might be a more fitting handle.
Yes, venerable former 175-pound champ Glen Johnson laid claim to that nickname years ago, but if it applies to anyone, Bika’s the man.
As the former 168-pound champion prepares to move up in weight for his April 4 Premier Boxing Champions clash with 175-pound kingpin Adonis Stevenson, which will be broadcast on CBS, Bika finds himself in a familiar position: heading to his opponent’s home turf.
“I’ve fought everyone in their backyard,” Bika says, speaking from Sydney, Australia, where the Cameroon-born fighter lives.
True to his words, Bika has challenged such current and former 168-pound champs as Joe Calzaghe, Andre Ward and Lucian Bute in the cities they fight out of, and will travel to enemy territory once again when he goes to Quebec City to battle the Canada-based Stevenson.
Plenty of fighters are wary of taking on challengers in front of hostile crowds, preferring a neutral location instead.
But throughout his career, Bika has done things the hard way, and he insists that he’s able to tune out any potential distractions once he’s in the ring.
“I have to deal with the guy in front of me. The rest of it is not my concern,” Bika says. “The people in the crowd, if people shout out, it never bothers me. I never hear exactly what people say. I just want to win the fight.”
Nevertheless, Bika does acknowledge that the crowd was especially rabid when he fought Calzaghe in Manchester, England, in 2006, citing it as the most raucous house he’s fought in front of.
But even though he lost that fight, Bika still feels like he managed to score a win—with the fans at least.
“They never booed me. I put on a good show,” he says with clear pride, vowing to do the same against Stevenson. “I can handle these big moments.”