Manchester hero Terry Flanagan became WBO Lightweight titlist after American Jose Zepeda suffered a dislocated shoulder in the second round at the Manchester Velodrome.
Flanagan is now the first ever English boxer in history to win a world title in the lightweight division and Manchester’s first world champion since Ricky Hatton.
Californian Zepeda came into the ring with a reputation as a puncher with 20 of 23 wins coming by knockout. In the opening round both undefeated southpaws were starting to trade shots and it was looking to be heating up into a cracking battle.
Somehow in the second round Zepeda’s shoulder popped out, highly likely to be after throwing a punch, and the protruding bone was visible through the skin, but he battled on until the end of the round.
After been inspected by the BBBofC doctor and his Zepeda’s corner, they decided to withdraw him and the referee Marcus McDonnell waved the fight off.
Despite the dramatic ending, Flanagan was ecstatic to realise a lifetime dream and become world champion.
“I really can’t believe it, I’m world champion!” Said Flanagan.
“I’m sorry for Zepeda and his injury, no fighter wants to lose in a world title fight like that, it’s a cruel sport, but I’ve won and that’s the main thing,”
“After all the years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears I’m finally here and now I can start looking at some big fights and big money,”
“I know there was talk of his power and in my head I over built him so when I got in the ring with him tonight, I didn’t really feel any power so I knew I’d get to him,”
“It’s nice creating records like being the first ever English lightweight world champion and the first Manchester boxer since Hatton to win a world title, but that doesn’t pay my bill,”
“I don’t care who I fight next, I’ll fight anyone and I’ll even give Zepeda a rematch when he recovers, but this is my time now and I’m going to enjoy it with my family.”
Fast rising British star Jack Catterall came through the roughest fight of his career with a sixth round stoppage of Argentine wild man Gabriel Calfin to retain his WBO Intercontinental Light-Welterweight title tonight at the Manchester Velodrome.
It was a messy fight from the start with Calfin going into negative mode after feeling Catterall’s power early on. The Argentine made it difficult for Catterall to get his own work off with plenty of holding and head use. Surprisingly it was Catterall who was deducted a point first by referee Marcus McDonnell for hitting on the back of the head in the second round and he was deducted a further point in the third for throwing Calfin through the ropes in the third.
In the fourth Calfin was deducted a point for holding and a further point in the fifth for use of the head. Calfin’s eye was closed now from the accurate shots that Catterall managed to land.
The doctor was asked to check Calfin’s eye in the sixth and was okay to continue, but Catterall decided to finish things off and plied the pressure on throwing plenty of punches with Calfin on the ropes. The referee had seen enough and called a halt at 1:20.
Catterall was relieved to end the fight and make the first successful defence of the belt that he won against another Argentinian Cesar David Inalef in March.
Now unbeaten in 12 fights and also holding the WBO European crown, Catterall will have a short rest and get ready for the new season.
“That was a bit messy in there, but I’m delighted to get the win and overcome a tough and rough challenger,” Said Catterall.
“I tried to create some distance to get my punches off, but he was rushing in with his head and holding and making it impossible to work. It was frustrating and I got deducted a couple of points but I managed to get a grip of it in the sixth and take him out,”
“It was an experience and I’m sure there are going to be more fights like that down the line so I know how to deal with it in the future.”
British hot shot Liam Walsh destroyed Brazilian puncher Isisas Santos Sampaio in six rounds to claim the Vacant WBO Intercontinental title at the Manchester Velodrome tonight with a devastating body shot.
The Cromer star was frustrated early on with Sampaio’s negative tactics, but he switched from orthodox to southpaw in the fourth round and started to find more success with his punches.
In the sixth round he landed a long left to Sampaio’s head and then with the same hand delivered a crunching body shot that left Sampaio rolling around on the canvas in agony unable to make the ten-count.
Walsh’s win sees him capture a fifth championship title and will now enter the WBO top ten rankings as he closes in a world title shot and Terry Flanagan could be a potential opponent if he beats Jose Zepeda in their WBO World title clash.
“Sampaio was a tough nut to crack, he wasn’t like I’d seen on video footage, from what I saw he was more aggressive and attacking, I was looking forward to seeing that tonight but he didn’t show it,” Said Walsh.
“It was frustrating because up until the fourth round I wasn’t at my best and then I switched to southpaw and I started landing more, that’s the thing I can adjust and change plans to overcome my opponent,”
“Although it wasn’t my best performance, it was one of my best finishes and I’m really happy with the ending, it was a beautiful shot and I knew that he wasn’t going to get up from that one,”
“I’ll sit down with my team and evaluate where we go next because I’ve got options at super-featherweight and lightweight. If Terry Flanagan beats Jose Zepeda then that’s a cracking fight between two undefeated British fighters if he fights me, but we’ll see what happens.”
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Bantamweight Contest
KALLUM DE’ATH WPTS4 (40-35) ELEMIR RAFAEL
6 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest
JON KAYS WTKO3 (2:12) MICHAEL STUPART
6 X 3 Minute Rounds International Lightweight Contest
JOE COSTELLO WPTS6 (60-54) KRZYSTOF SZOT
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Middleweight Contest
MACAULEY McGOWAN WPTS4 (40-36) DANNY LYTTLE
10 X 3 Minute Rounds International Heavyweight Contest
ALEXANDER USTINOV WTKO2 (1:36) TRAVIS WALKER
10 X 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Flyweight Contest
PAUL BUTLER WTKO5 (2:53) GUSTAVO MOLINA