By Ian S Palmer
Unbeaten WBO Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan of Manchester England will be defending his title for the fifth time when he takes on Petr Petrov of Russia at the Manchester Arena this Saturday, April 8th. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the UK on BoxNation. Flanagan, a southpaw, beat Orlando Cruz by an eight-round TKO in his last outing in November while Petrov stopped Michael Perez after the sixth round in his last fight in October.
The 27-year-old Flanagan won the vacant title against Jose Zepeda by a second-round stoppage in July of 2015. He’s been pretty active since as he defended it against American Diego Magdaleno by second-round stoppage three months later, then beat Derry Mathews of Liverpool by unanimous decision in March before defending it for the third time against Mzonke Fana of South Africa by unanimous decision last July before stopping Cruz.
The hometown hero Flanagan owns a perfect record of 32-0 with 13 Kos and is also a former European and British Lightweight Champion. Flanagan is a slick-boxing southpaw who has a fine jab and usually prefers to dictate the pace of his fights. He turned pro back in 2009 and has boxed 166 rounds since then with a knockout ratio of just 41 per cent. The champion stands just over 5-feet-9-inches tall and has an unlisted reach.
Flanagan’s biggest wins have come over the likes of Gary Sykes, Nate Campbell, Zepeda, Magdaleno, Mathews, Fana and Cruz. While he’s beaten some good boxers up to now, Flanagan hasn’t really taken on any big-name elite boxers as of yet as most of his fights have been against domestic and European opponents. However, he’s hoping to change that in the near future as he’s hoping to take on one of the other lightweight champs such as Robert Easter, Jorge Linares or Mikey Garcia.
The 34-year-old Petrov hails from Russia, but now fights out of Spain. He carries a record of 38-4-2 with 19 Kos. Petrov has won six fights in a row with four of them coming by stoppage. He was unsuccessful in his 2011 attempt to take the WBA Junior Lightweight crown from Marcos Maidana of Argentina as he was stopped in the fourth round for his only loss by KO. He’s also been beaten by Dejan Zlaticanin in 2013, Vitali Tajbert in 2007 and Ubadel Soto in 2003.
Petrov’s two draws came against Ignacio Mendoza in 2007 and Francisco Nohales in 2002. Most of his opponents since turning pro in 2000 will be unknown to North American fans other than Maidana and Perez, but Petrov has plenty of experience with 253 rounds under his belt. He stands 5-feet-6-inches tall with a 69.5-inch reach. He’s a solid pro and can’t be taken lightly by Flanagan.
Petrov’s got a pretty solid chin and Flanagan’s not known as a heavy hitter. However, Flanagan’s power may be a bit underrated as he’s stopped six of his past nine opponents. Flanagan has quick hands and overwhelms opponents with his aggressiveness, but it won’t be easy against Petrov. Flanagan should still be holding his belt at the end of the night though.