WBO Champ Flanagan Wants Linares
The WBO Lightweight champion Terry Flanagan may return in December, but no date is set yet nor an opponent. For Flanagan there is only one option, and that is WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
The undefeated Flanagan is craving that opportunity with Linares and is fed up with not getting the big fights he believes he deserves.
“I’ve never got the fights I wanted… People say it’s because of the promoter (Frank Warren) I’m under. Basically it comes down to people not wanting to fight me.
“There’s a world title there to be won. Someone come and take it. If I’m as bad as people say I am on social media why don’t no-one come and take the title? It’s there.
“I’m struggling to get a big fight. No-one wants to fight me and then I end up getting a voluntary, and everyone slags the opponent. I think they’ve [WBO] made [Ray] Beltran mandatory. I want unification’s. When I beat Beltran everyone will say he’s old and past it. I can’t win. I’m getting worked up over it because I am the best, and I want to prove I am the best but I can’t until them fights getting made.”
In his only fight of 2017, Flanagan won a decision victory over Petr Petrov, marking his fifth defense since defeating Jose Zepeda for the WBO crown in 2015.
The lack of top of the line opponents have made Flanagan not only restless, but feels like potential opponents are afraid of him.
“Every fight I put my heart and soul into camp, I work as hard as I’ve ever worked. Listen, if I was to lose my unbeaten record no-one would want to know would they? I’d may as well retire. If I got beat that would be it for me. People don’t want to fight me now when I’m world champion, so I doubt I’d get the fights if I’d slip up. So, I know I have to be 100% and get my head on it. Hopefully they can make them big fights.”
And while Linares or Beltran may be in his future, it seems that Anthony Crolla may be a fan favorite to face off against Flanagan. For Flanagan, well he’s not a fan of the idea.
“I don’t give a f*** about that fight… I’d rather fight Linares, I want unification fights. It seems to be all about money for other people but I’m about the titles. You’re not remembered for how much money you’ve earned, you’re going to be remembered for how many titles you’ve won. I’m still undefeated lightweight champion of the world. I want to test myself against the best while I’m still in my prime, and Linares is seen as the best but I believe I’m the best.”
In regards to Crolla’s victory over Ricky Burns on Saturday, the WBO champ was a little less than kind.
“You could see why they were both talking about retirement, because it looked like two old men to me. I thought the fight was a close fight but no-one really done anything. They looked like they could have boxed 20 rounds and no-one looked like getting a stoppage. It was the most exciting fight I’ve ever seen where nothing happened.”