Tony Bellew: BJ Flores is a 'banana skin' - trainer Dave Coldwell

By Nate WilliamsBBC Sport
Tony Bellew and BJ Flores
Bellew (left), from Liverpool, has won 27 of his 30 fights, including 17 by knockout

Tony Bellew's WBC cruiserweight world title defence against BJ Flores is a potential "banana skin", says Bellew's trainer Dave Coldwell.

Bellew, 33, meets the American, 37, at Liverpool's Echo Arena on Saturday hoping to keep the belt he won against Ilunga Makubu at Goodison Park in May.

"World titles don't mean anything if you lose your first defence," Coldwell told BBC Sport.

"He had his glory night at Goodison Park, but he has to put it behind him."

Coldwell added: "He's got to be focused and not give Flores the opportunity to put him over or get into a scrap, because the minute an underdog believes they can win the fight, all of a sudden you're up against a much tougher fighter."

Tony Bellew celebrates winning the WBC cruiserweight title
Coldwell (third from right) trained Bellew for his WBC title victory

Flores, a former US national amateur champion who has won 32 of his 35 professional fights, last lost against Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenovexternal-link for the WBA interim version of the world title in July 2015.

"My father Frank was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and we almost lost him," said Flores.

"I slept on the floor for this camp and I've fought and trained like there's no tomorrow because you don't know if there will be a tomorrow. Timing is everything.

"My father didn't know if he would get a second chance because after the surgery the doctor told me he had 12 months to live.

"You have to take every opportunity every day and be thankful for that chance."

Flores has also sparred with many of the world's elite heavyweights including Britain's David Haye, who backed the Las Vegas fighter to beat Bellew.

"I don't think Tony is going to win the fight," said Haye.

"Tony thinks it's an easy touch and BJ is a huge underdog with the bookies but I think he's worth backing to cause the upset."

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