Flanagan Retains and Remains Unbeaten
Terry Flanagan, who holds the longest unbeaten record in British boxing, made a fifth successful title defense of the WBO lightweight championship, defeating Petr Petrov via unanimous decision.
Despite Flanagan winning on all three judges’ scorecards, it wasn’t his most dominating and convincing performance. In fact, one judge gave him the fight by just two rounds.
"It was a tough fight and he’s very durable," Flanagan told ESPN. "I knew I was winning the fight comfortably and I was a bit cagey at times. Perhaps I should have stepped it up a bit and forced the stoppage. I probably should have upped it a bit."
Petrov held his ground and had a couple of moments. The first half of the fight was pretty close. In fact, early on in the second round, Petrov clearly hurt the defending champion.
Flanagan’s clean shots and accuracy, however, soon kicked in. But Petrov would find a way to best the champion again in the fifth, getting Flanagan’s back to the ropes while unloading with multiple punches.
But Petrov could not keep up with his hard-hitting defense, and Flanagan would regain some control of the bout, with a few close moments in-between. Petrov continued to walk through the champion’s shots, even when his vision was affected due to a cut around his eye in the 11th round.
This was Petrov’s first loss in four years.
Despite it not being his best work, Flanagan took some time after the bout to say he wants to step up and challenge big-name fighters, including Vasyl Lomachenko and WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
His promoter, Frank Warren, says that despite the five title defense and his undefeated record, Flanagan does not have the best profile like other British boxers, and one of these fights could help bring him some more spotlight.
"Terry says he wants a big fight and there are a couple big ones out there but they are tough ones, Linares and Lomachenko," Warren said. "I think they can be done, I’m convinced they can be done, unless Linares fights Mikey Garcia. Linares is the one I want to make and Terry’s going to have to raise his game — and he can do that. The tougher the opposition the more you’re going to get out of him because there’s a fear factor."