Unbeaten British southpaw Terry Flanagan scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Petr Petrov to retain his WBO lightweight title in Manchester, England, on Saturday. The official scores were 120-108, 118-110 and 116-112.
The hard-hitting Russian certainly had his moments, but for the most part Flanagan, who is rated No. 2 by THE RING at 135 pounds, had things his own way, occupying center ring and scoring effectively with right jabs and sharp counterpunching to edge the sessions.
“I knew I was in for a tough fight,” said Flanagan when interviewed by BoxNation in the U.K. “(Petrov) was very durable, but if I’d listened to (my trainer) and forced him back more I would have stopped him. I was a bit cagey in there but I knew that I was winning comfortably.”
The action was relatively one-paced and there were no knockdowns. A deep vertical cut, the result of a head clash in Round 10, prompted a late attack by Petrov, but Flanagan was too clever to be caught with anything big. He closed out the fight by popping the Russian with some nice combination work and looked fresh when the bell rang to end the contest.
“Terry wants a big fight and there are big fights to be made,” said promoter Frank Warren. “We all seen (Jorge) Linares and what he did with Anthony Crolla, and of course (Vasyl) Lomachenko is fighting (Jason Sosa) tonight. They’re two really tough fights for Terry.
“I think they can be done. I’m convinced they can be done. The Linares fight is the one that I want to make but (Terry) has to be at the top of his game. The tougher the opposition, the more you’re going to get out of Terry. (Petrov) was the toughest guy in the division other than the other world champions and I thought Terry won well tonight.”
Both fighters weighed in at 134 1/2 pounds. Flanagan improves to (33-0, 13 knockouts) and Petrov, who was rated No. 10 by THE RING at lightweight, drops to (39-5-2, 19 KOs).
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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