Gabriel Flores Sr. has no plans of offering up a mea culpa anytime soon.
The father and trainer of 21-year-old super featherweight prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. recently defended his controversial actions (or lack thereof) during his son’s upset loss to Mexican Luis Alberto Lopez on the Oscar Valdez-Robson Conceicao. Lopez won a stunning unanimous decision in a fight that saw the veteran maul the young Stockton native from pillar to post from the early rounds and on. By the ninth round, many across the boxing commentariat were urging Flores Sr. to stop the fight.
Flores Sr., to his credit, said as much to his son before the start of the 10th round but was eventually talked out of actually throwing in the towel. Flores Jr. (20-1, 7 KOs) went on to get further pawed up by Lopez (23-2, 12 KOs) for the remainder of the fight. All three judges scored the bout by a wide margin for Lopez.
The fight sparked outrage by many observers, from the commentators on the ESPN broadcast to various fans and pundits, who believed Flores took an unnecessarily prolonged beating. Upon some reflection, however, Flores Sr. couldn't disagree more.
“I watched [the fight] today, right now,” Flores Sr. told Elie Seckbach of ES News. “I’m like, ‘Did I f--- up or something? Did I miss something? I didn’t miss sh!t. [Jr.] was in a fight. Yeah, he’s young. But he was in a fight. Anything less than that then you’re f------ soft.
“If you can’t take that don’t watch boxing, bro. Jr.’s fine. We knew he was fine. There’s a lot of pussies out there. You motherf------ are soft.”
Flores Sr. also took exception to comments made by former bantamweight champion and Showtime commentator Abner Mares.
“This kid is not going to be the same after this fight.. thanks a lot dad,” Mares wrote on his Twitter account, referencing the Flores-Lopez fight.
In another tweet , Mares wrote, “My god .. please why would you let your son continue to take punishment..”
“Like, Abner talking sh!t,” Flores Sr. said in response. “I’m not mad at Abner, but, bro, don’t listen to the broadcast, bro.
Flores Sr. also claimed that his son was sick leading up to the fight, which he believes contributed to his lackluster performance.
“Look at [Flores Jr.’s] posture,” Flores Sr. continued. “Don’t get me wrong. He was a little sick. He was a little drained after the fourth round, he was done. No excuse. If you watch the Fight Hype video he was sniffling. We could tell. But we were in tremendous shape, and I thought he was going to be alright. But he wasn’t. He gassed.”
Flores Sr. says the strong remonstration by the public is proof, to him, that boxing fans are “soft” compared to those in other combat sports.
“The kid was okay,” Flores Sr. said. “Up until the ninth he wanted to finish the fight. But he’s a man. He’s my son. But first of all he’s a man. And he’s a fighter. And I’mma tell you something Elie, that’s why UFC gets a lot more hits, because motherf------ in boxing are soft.
“Don’t get me wrong. I know what happens to other people, they get hurt and sh!t like that. But Junior takes no punishment in f------- sparring. No punishment in his previous fights. One fight, bro, and he’s f------- gassed, he has to fight. So he’s f------- fighting. When you box you get hit, bro. And he’s not getting hit by Tito Trinidad. No, he’s not. The mother-------'s 126 [pounds] and he’s little, bro. He’s a tough little bastard, but that’s it. They need to stop it.”
After the bout, Flores Jr. appeared all puffed up and bruised. In a candid interview with ESPN’s Mark Kriegel, Flores admitted that Lopez had “f------- embarrassed me.”
Still, for Flores Sr. there is nothing alarming about the punishment that his son incurred. The father has a simple prescription for those who felt squeamish during the fight: Watch another sport.
“If you don’t want [to watch boxing], change the channel bro,” Flores Sr. said. “First of all nobody loves him like I love and I know what I’m watching. Robert [Garcia] was there. [Cutman] Stitch [Duran] was there. Nobody had a problem with it. But it’s the audience, the commentators, the crazy blows. That was a bunch of bullsh!t…He got clipped in the ninth round, but it’s f------- boxing, bro. I’ve been in tougher street fights than that. C’mon.”