The WBO lightweight championship fight between Terry Flanagan and challenger Felix Verdejo has hit a snag in negotiations.
According to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia, negotiations have stalled because of the finances, mainly Verdejo’s purse, which is reportedly significantly less than what Top Rank and Verdejo’s camp wanted. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Verdejo’s camp have requested a $450,000 purse for the fight against Flanagan.
The fight, which had been set for September 16 in Manchester, England during preliminary talks is now in danger of not happening. Ricky Marquez, Verdejo’s trainer and manager said his fighter is not worried about the negotiations in the fight and is solely focused on training.
“We’re training,” Marquez said. “We’re not waiting for someone to tell us anything or announce anything. We’re training and have the best promoter in the world in Bob Aum working on our side.”
The fight has been in the making for about a year. The two were close to signing off on the fight late last year but a motorcycle accident left Verdejo hospitalized and any hope for the fight to happen was pushed off for 2017. While Verdejo tried to take a tune up fight of sorts to make sure he’s back to 100 percent earlier this year, Flanagan defended his title twice -- against Orlando Cruz last November and against Petr Petrov back in April.
Marquez said his camp is not too worried whether or not the Flanagan fight happens and that there are already plans in place just in case the fight does not happen.
“I’ll leave that to the promoters," Marquez said. "There’s a plan B and a plan C [if the Flanagan fight falls]. We are ready for Flanagan, but if something comes up and the fight doesn’t happen, we’re willing to do whatever the promoter decides.”
Verdejo has been the mandatory challenger for the WBO title since last year. If negotiations continue to stall, the WBO could order a purse bid for the fight. If that is the case, the minimum bid would be $150,000 with the champion (Flanagan) getting 75 percent of the purse and the challenger (Verdejo) getting the remaining 25 percent, meaning Verdejo could potentially see a purse of at least $37,500 if the fight goes to a purse bid.