Bellew flattens Flores in three, then calls out David Haye
WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew (28-2-1, 18 KOs) stopped BJ Flores (32-3-1, 20 KOs) by KO on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Bellew dropped Flores three times in the second round and finished him with another knockdown in the third, the same round in which Bellew won his world title against Ilunga Makabu last May. Flores had never previously been stopped.
In the opening session, Flores was landing his jab and shots to head and body, but the champion finished the round strongly, connecting with some punches of his own.
Bellew soon took charge in the second and started to punish Flores, who became too busy complaining to the referee about a low blow, and he floored him moments later.
The American got up and fired back but Bellew's heavy blows dropped him two more times in the round.
The Briton continued to dominate the action in the third and a left hook sent Flores to the canvas again as he was counted out at 2:11 of the round.
Immediately after the fight, the hometown fighter jumped out of the ring to confront countryman David Haye, who was at ringside.
"I'm ruthless when I get going," said Bellew. "BJ Flores is an old-school, respected fighter and he's trying to fulfil a childhood dream. I've pummelled him tonight.
"I'm not called the Bomber for nothing! Understand me - getting home to my wife and kids is all that really matters.
"You see him (Haye)? He's been conning the British public since his pathetic comeback started.
"The last two guys you fought (Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj) were a joke. You picked BJ to beat me and he just got smashed.
"With 10 ounce gloves on, I'll put you and your pathetic haircut to sleep. Brother, I'm the biggest payday you've got right now."
Also on the card, cruiserweight contender Mairis Briedis (21-0, 18 KOs) halted previously unbeaten Simon Vallily (9-1, 2 KOs) in the third round.
Latvia's Briedis dropped his British opponent with a body shot in the third and rocked him several times before the bout was waved off. Briedis is Bellew’s mandatory challenger.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (15-1, 12 KOs) scored a fourth round KO over fellow Briton Derry Mathews (38-11-2, 20 KOs).
Campbell dropped Mathews at the end of the third and finished him in the following round, scoring two knockdowns from body shots. Campbell retained his WBC Silver and Commonwealth lightweight titles.
British bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett (15-0, 9 KOs) outpointed former European champion Ryan Farrag (16-3, 4 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision.
Northern Ireland's Burnett dominated the Liverpool fighter throughout the bout with both boxing skills and aggression to retain his title by scores of 118-111, 118-110 and 117-111.