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18 DECEMBER 2014

Where am I? Home Columns Paul Upham
 

Sakio Bika Looking for a Challenge


Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika
Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika

By Paul Upham: Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika is looking for a challenge in the boxing ring. The only problem is that less and less boxers are interested in taking a chance in facing the tank like Contender 2007 winner and new IBO super middleweight boxing world champion.

“People see that I am tough and they don’t want to take the risk,” Bika told SecondsOut. “I just want to win more world titles.”

Cameroon born Bika knocked out Peter Manfredo Jr in three rounds on November 13 to win the vacant IBO belt.

“I was very surprised at first when Manfredo wanted to fight me,” said Bika 27-3-2 (17), “but when the IBO belt was available, I wanted the fight. It was a good night.”

While a controversial knockdown was ruled against Bika in round 2, he dominated every other second of the fight and battered Manfredo remorselessly on the ropes until the referee stopped the match.

“My trainer Pepe Correa was very confident,” explained Bika. “After the 2nd round, he told me I can stop him. In the 3rd round I could see he was hurt. Pepe told me to give him more pressure and I did and the referee stopped the fight and I had a good win. Being in his home town, I was a little nervous, but (my promoter) Jeff Wald was very confident I would win. I had to take the referee and the judges out of the fight. I was thinking that if I stop him, I don’t have to go the distance.”

While his two most wanted fights are rather unlikely, being a rematch with Joe Calzaghe and a shot at Bernard Hopkins, Bika has some other important names on his list.

“Joe Calzaghe has been a great fighter and I respect him a lot,” said Bika. “I don’t know if he wants to fight any more or he wants to retire. I am a much better fighter since I last fought him in 2006. But Joe and Bernard Hopkins are not available, so I want to fight (Ronald) ‘Winky’ Wright. I can beat him. I also want Jermain Taylor or Carl Froch. Any of the world title holders. I have sparred Mikkel Kessler and I know what he is like. I saw his manager in America and told him I’d take that fight. I don’t really care who I fight as long as the conditions are fair. Most important, I want to fight more regularly. I’d like to fight four times this year.”

Another wanted fight for Bika is a rematch with current IBF world champion Lucian Bute. The two fought in June 2007 in an IBF eliminator. The Romanian born Canada based boxer winning a twelve round points decision.

“I was 100% before the fight, but the day before I nearly drowned in a swimming pool,” admitted Bika, who can’t swim a stroke. “I was embarrassed about that. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t have a good sleep that night and I was thinking a lot. I woke up in the morning and I wasn’t myself. Bute is a good fighter and I respect him. It wasn’t my night. He has now become the IBF world champion. There is no reason we can’t fight again and unify the belts. It would be a great fight.”

Bika cracks Joe Calzaghe: HoganPhotos.com
Bika cracks Joe Calzaghe: HoganPhotos.com
At a time when boxing should be getting the most entertaining boxers on television more regularly, the carved in stone Bika proved his excitement value in his thrilling win over Jaidon Codrington to win The Contender championship in November 2007.

“I am hoping that I can get the chance to get a big fight in the USA this year,” said Bika. “I am 29 years-old and ready to fight. I have some big fights ahead of me.”

Bika’s promoter Jeff Wald from The Contender, has an open mind about any matches for his boxer.

“We are willing to take on all comers at 168lbs,” he said. “I can’t get Calzaghe to fight him again. There are a lot of guys who just won’t fight Sakio. I went after Jermain Taylor and his manager won’t let him take the fight. The quote from the Jermain Taylor camp was, ‘Sakio is a beast, am I nuts?’ I had conversations with Calzaghe’s people and Calzaghe said that Sakio was the closest he has ever come to losing. I am out there looking. There could be Andre Ward. There are a lot of fights out there. I am looking at everybody at 168lbs. Not a lot of people want to fight him. I have gone after a rematch with Lucian Bute and they are not interested. Anybody Sakio has fought before it is going to be very hard to get a rematch. I can tell you that. Sakio is always in shape, he hits like a mule and he is getting smarter and better in every fight.”

Back in Australia where he now lives, the most obvious fight for Bika is with former WBA title holder Anthony “The Man” Mundine. But Bika has become tired of chasing the former rugby league football star.

“I don’t have to say much about him,” said Bika. “Anthony has to call me out if he wants the fight. He does not even have a world title now.”

“Why is Anthony Mundine so afraid to fight Sakio Bika?” asked Wald. “Why doesn’t Mundine, mister big champion, want to fight him? Mundine is just a punk.”

Bika will travel to the USA as a special guest for The Contender fourth season finale on February 25 in Mashantucket, Connecticut, televised on Versus.

“Hopefully I will have something set up for Sakio so we can announce a fight then,” said Wald. “I want to keep Sakio visible.”


Paul Upham
Content Editor
The Contender 2007 Champion
The Contender 2007 Champion


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