Floyd Mayweather wasn’t the only former champion who flew in to Washington D.C. to catch the James DeGale and Badou Jack card. Former WBC 168-pound champion Sakio Bika also came into town, sporting a blazer and scouting possible future opponents while taking in the evening's major fights in the super middleweight division.
In his career thus far, the Cameroon-born fighter who now resides in Australia, has fought a number of world champions, including Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe, Peter Mandfredo Jr, Anthony Dirrell, and Adonis Stevenson in a unanimous decision loss fought last year in Quebec.
Below is our interview with the former champion and TheDailySportsHerald.com's Joseph Hammond:
Q: What brings you to these fights here in Washington D.C.?
A: I came here to see the two big fights at the super middleweight division: James DeGale vs. Medina and Jack vs. Bute.
I also wanted to scout these fighters as possible future opponents in a division I have fought in a lot. I would love to fight James DeGale and Badou Jack for one of their titles. I live in Sydney, Australia. I flew here just to scout these fights and also because I love America. I came here for the fight and to enjoy the build-up of fight week.
Q: The James DeGale fight vs. Roger Medina was controversial with those ringside, a lot of people preferred the busier Medina to the cleaner punching DeGale. Who do you think won?
A: I think DeGale won the fight, he was the better fighter in there on the inside.
Q: If you could fight either James DeGale for the IBF Championship or Badou Jack for the WBC championship, who would be your first choice?
A: I prefer to go for the WBC belt to fight Badou Jack for my old belt I won in 2013. I would be willing to fight in the U.S., of course. I’m a businessman, boxing is a business and I’ll fight anywhere it makes good business sense. I will go where the money is for a championship fight.
Q: Mayweather Promotions has been signing a lot of African fighters, and we have seen here a lot of fighters from Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya on the undercard. Those were all former British colonies. It seems most of the great African fighters are from former British colonies. It didn’t used to be that way, the first champion from Africa, Battling Siki, was from Senegal, or Marcel Cerdan from Algeria, but you're one of the rare champions from a Francophone country in recent years.
A: That’s true I think part of my success was moving to Australia, my second country, which is really into boxing. In Francophone African countries we don’t have a lot of opportunity to box, it's not a well promoted sport. The situation is a bit better in the former British colonies for sure. Yet, even there you don’t have the trainers and gyms to support world class fighters. Let alone the money. So fighters need to come to the U.S. and U.K. for opportunity, or Australia, which is difficult for African fighters.
Comparatively fighters from the U.S. and U.K. have it easier, they already have that support. I feel so lucky to have made it where I am. I am from Africa and Cameroon and I was a champion. I hope I can be an inspiration for fighters from all over Africa.
Q: When you retire do you have plans to help grow the sport in Africa?
A: We can do more for boxing in Africa, I can’t do it alone, when I retire I want to help of course, but it is something a big company or a few of them should look into. Everlast could do something. We need to find young talent in Africa and train them. I can’t do it myself. It will be important to the development for the sport in Africa whether these kids become world champions or just learn fitness and responsibility.
Q: Your second country is Australia. We have had some colorful fighters from there in the last few years like Kostyzu and Anthony Mundine, but we rarely here about them in the U.S.
A: It’s not like in Africa where fighters don’t have facilities, in Australia the question is promoters who often don’t do enough to sell fighters and match-ups abroad. It’s tough to bring good fighters to Australia and we need to promote what we have.
Q: When will your fans see “The Scorpion” back in the ring?
A: I am not ready to retire and I have no plans to retire. I hope to be back at 168 pounds. I will be back at the end of this year. I pray to God. Hopefully for a world title against DeGale or Jack.
By Joseph Hammond
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com