Terry Flanagan wins WBO World Title It was in slightly disappointing circumstances due to an early injury to his opponent Jose Zepeda but nonetheless, Terry Flanagan won't be complaining, far from it - as the new WBO 135 lbs world champion. ________________________________________________________________________________ On Saturday night Mancunian Terry Flanagan became the first Englishman ever to win a legitimate lightweight world title.…
Terry Flanagan vs Jose Zepeda World Title Preview
Terry Flanagan vs Jose Zepeda Preview- WBO World Lightweight Title
Unbeaten Mancunian Terry ‘Turbo’ Flanagan (27-0) gets his long awaited chance at world honours this weekend, when he faces unbeaten American Jose Zepeda (23-0) for the vacant WBO lightweight title.
Evenly matched on paper
Flanagan will have the advantage of home comforts in the form of the Manchester Velodrome but make no mistake, this is certainly a very competitive fight.
Neither man has went the full twelve round distance, with Terry only being scheduled to go twelve on two occasions, while Jose has never fought in a bout scheduled for the full twelve, meaning if the fight were to go the distance – it would be interesting to see how both men would handle the championship rounds.
The bookies make Flanagan the favourite at 8/13, with the American a slightly longer 5/4 shot. But this is by no means an easy night for ‘Turbo’ – as the Californian carries considerable power.
This is evidenced from his twenty three wins, all but three of these have come by way of knockout. To put the Zepeda dig form into perspective, he is currently on a run of three straight knockouts coming into this one.
Form book and prediction
Flanagan comes into the fight by beating quality Dubliner Stephen Ormond recently, after the Irishman was (bizarrely) disqualified in a close fight for excessive use of the head, leaving Terry as the next in line for a shot at gold.
I believe former Prizefighter champion Flanagan will possibly have to weather a late storm from the American in maybe rounds eight and nine (or thereabouts), as he leads comfortably on the scorecards with Zepeda chasing the fight and blowing himself out, ultimately leaving ‘Turbo’ with a bit more in the tank to close out a unanimous points decision.
I suspect he could then go onto take final two championship rounds and fulfill a lifelong dream and ambition by becoming the new WBO Lightweight champion of the world.
Of course, that’s just my prediction (time will tell how the contest unfolds).
On the undercard, the mandatory challenger for Andy Lee’s WBO middleweight belt Billy Joe Saunders (21-0) fights in a keep busy contest ahead of his challenge for the title against Lee in Limerick (next September 19th).
Former bantamweight world champion Paul Butler (17-1) makes his return to the ring after an unsuccessful tilt at the Super Flyweight belt when he was stopped by classy South African Zolani Tete last time out in Liverpool. He fights Mexican Gustavo Molina (19-6), a fighter who has never fought outside of his native Mexico.
Undefeated Liam Walsh (18-0) follows on from an impressive string of victories against Joe Murray and Gary Sykes to fight Isaias Santos Sampaio (23-10) for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental strap.
Also on the card will be 2010 Commonwealth gold medalist Tom Stalker (10-1) and heavyweight Alexander Ustinov (30-1), who was due to face Tyson Fury in a rescheduled bout last summer when Derek Chisora pulled out of the original fight with the six foot seven heavyweights.
Ustinov’s sole career loss has only come against former Klitschko challenger – Kubart Pulev.
Overall, strap yourself in for what should be a cracking night of boxing.