Terry Flanagan is set to defend his WBO Lightweight title against Petr Petrov in Manchester this week as he looks to make a regulation defence before focusing on a number of big-money fights that are out there for him.
Petrov’s record is nothing special and boasts no real stand-out performances and “Turbo” should come through this with relative ease and if he does the rewards are huge for man who’s profile and value doesn’t match his ring prowess.
Flanagan is 32-0 and boasts the current best British record, holds the coveted WBO belt in a Lightweight division that is booming yet his profile pales in comparison to those of British Ligthweights Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns. Flanagan admits that he isn’t a big talker and prefers to do his business in the ring but for someone with such talent in the ring, he needs the big fights to propel him to the next level.
The Crolla fight is a particularly interesting one. Frank Warren has already said he’s against the fight after “Million Dollar” is coming off two losses to the great Jorge Linares but the fight has huge potential. City vs United, two Manchester friends and fighters in a battle that would capture the imagination of the city. Financially, I believe it would do great numbers and is a genuine world-class fight. Should he come through Petrov, I believe Crolla should be top of Flanagan’s list.
Elsewhere at the Manchester Arena, there is a really tasty bout between the two Liams, Smith and Williams for the interim WBO super welterweight titleit looks set to be the best fight of the night. Smith is rebuilding his career after his brave effort in Texas when he was knocked-out by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Williams is playing the role of the new kid on the block ready to take out Smith and show the world he has arrived and it makes for a truly fascinating encounter. Will it be the experience of Smith or the youthful exuberance of Williams. It’s a hard one to call but it would take a brave man to bet against “Beefy”.
We can also look forward to the debut of Golden Girl Nicola Adams who takes on Virginia Noemi Carcamo for her first fight in the pro ranks. Katie Taylor has taken the professional women’s boxing world by storm and it’s great to see that Adams is set to follow in her footsteps. Taylor has already demonstrated that she is just as talented as the men and let’s hope Adams can do the same. Both fighters deserve huge credit for carrying the torch for women’s boxing and long may it continue!
Predictions- Flanagan KO, Smith PTS, Adams KO