Despite a spirited effort from challenger Petr Petrov, Terry Flanagan successfully defended his WBO Lightweight title in front of his hometown Manchester crowd on April 8.
Flanagan won via unanimous decision (116-112, 120-108, 118-110) on a night where a total of four world titles were on the line, two in Manchester where Flanagan fought, and the other two on an HBO card later that night.
Flanagan did not find a rhythm against a scrappy Petrov, who had been using an aggressive approach to attack Flanagan's body.
It was Flanagan's fifth defense of the belt he won in 2015. He had been close to signing a title fight against rising contender Felix Verdejo since last year. A motorcycle accident prevented that fight from happening and so Flanagan had defended his title against Orlando Cruz as a sort-of last minute replacement and then Petrov. A Flanagan-Verdejo fight could still happen, but is now in doubt with the possibility that Flanagan is thinking about moving up in weight. Even if that move takes a while, Flanagan had been thinking about fighting WBO junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko or WBA Lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
"The fight I'm interested in -- if Terry comes through against Petrov -- is Linares or Lomachenko," Frank Warren, Flanagan's promoter, told ESPN in the lead-up to the fight.
The other title fight of the Manchester card saw Liam Smith defeat Liam Williams after Smith cut Williams in the ninth round of their contest. Williams' corner threw in the towel after the ninth round, giving Smith the win. The fight was for the interim WBO Super Welterweight Championship, but because Smith missed weight the night before, Smith could not win the title with a win against Williams.
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