Terry Flanagan To Defend WBO Lightweight Title In London

Felix Verdejo will get his long-overdue world title opportunity against Terry Flanagan after several weeks of negotiations.

Verdejo will challenge Flanagan for the WBO lightweight title on September 16 in the Copper Box Arena in London, England, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.

"It's agreed to," Moretti said. "Everything with Verdejo was completed [Thursday night]. I'm told Flanagan and Frank have their deal and now we have a fight."

Flanagan's manager Ricky Marquez announced on social media the fight is official after talks of fight contract issues put the world title bout in danger of not happening.

The two were supposed to fight late last year, but Verdejo suffered a motorcycle accident which postponed the fight, which at the time, was close to being signed. While Verdejo tried to recover and picked up a fight in February to shake off the ring rust, Flanagan defended his title twice against Orlando Cruz and Petr Petrov.

Also on the card is WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders making his second title defense. Saunders will defend his title against Willie Monroe Jr. after Avtandil Khurtsidze, Saunders' original challenger was arrested back in June and had his interim title stripped. Saunders vs. Khurtsidze would have happened on July 8.

The Flanagan vs. Verdejo fight fit perfectly into Saunders' plans since he and promoter Eddie Hearn wanted to have a WBO middleweight title defense on the same week as the Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez fight, which also takes place on that day. The plan figures Saunders challenging the winner of that fight in a middleweight title unification bout.

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