Terry Flanagan and Liam Smith took care of business against their American challengers at the Manchester Arena in separate title fights with Flanagan retaining his title and Smith being crowned new champion. Manchester ace Flanagan destroyed his mandatory challenger Diego Magdaleno inside two round in the first defense of his WBO World Lightweight title, while Liverpool star Smith smashed John Thompson in 7 rounds.
It was vindication for Flanagan who won the vacant title in July against Jose Zepeda, but a only after the American dislocated his shoulder in the second round. Flanagan was on a mission to prove that he is the real deal and he caused huge eruptions in the boxing world with his performance over Magdaleno.
The 26-year-old southpaw floored Magdaleno with a barrage of powerful hooks and crosses three times before the referee called a halt to the action in the second round at 2:30, leaving Magdaleno looking like he’d been hit by a hurricane.
Flanagan sent a firm message out to his domestic rivals Derry Mathews and Anthony Crolla that he’s the best man in Britain at 135lb and a message to the world that he is also the leading fighter in the division.
He said afterwards, “That was a cracking performance, I was really pleased with that, maybe I could have done him a bit quicker, but I’m right happy with that.”
“Now people will start standing up and taking notice of me and know that I’m the real thing. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ll fight anyone, anytime.
“I love boxing and I’m in to prove that I’m the best in the world. I’ve done two of the top Americans in a row now, the more the merrier.
“I want to defend my title again and then look at unification fights to show just how good I can really be.”
For Smith, 27, he became the first of the famous talented brothers to win a world title when he knocked out Thompson inside seven rounds.
‘Beefy’ took the first couple of rounds to solve the slick, fast punching Thompson, but once he started getting his distance in from the third round with his jab and landing his big overhand right the American was on the backfoot.
With Thompson starting to tire, Smith’s punches were snapping Thompson’s head back and Smith knew that the end was coming soon and in the sixth it looked like it was going to be stopped as Smith landed some huge shots before the end of the round sounded.
In the seventh Smith piled on the pressure and dropped Thompson with a massive right and the New Jersey fighter went down heavy. He tried to rise but then slumped back down again with the referee waving it off.
Smith went wild in celebration realising he had achieve his dream of finally becoming world champion.
He said, “It’s an unbelievable feeling and it hasn’t sunk in yet, but it means the world to me,”
“It’s the only belt we’re missing in the family and I’m over the moon to be the first to bring it home and hopefully it will be the first of many world titles,”
“It took me a couple of rounds to settle in, he started fast and flashy and was moving well, but I knew he couldn’t keep that pace, and when my punches started to rock his head and when I hurt his body, I knew it wasn’t going long,”
“I’m now in the elite of the 154 pound division and the other Americans can start calling me out now.
“I’ll fight anyone, the division is packed with names Charlo, Lara, Alvarez, but I’ve arrived now and they can chase me.”
Promoter Frank Warren was thrilled with both their performances and is predicting an exciting time ahead.
He said, “I thought Terry was phenomenal and for me that was the most outstanding performance by a British fighter in the last two years,”
“He absolutely annihilated Magdaleno, who was his mandatory challenger, in such a devastating manner. He lived up to his nickname Turbo and went straight through him,”
“I’ve had many great nights with Ricky Hatton at the Manchester Arena and there are going to be many more ahead with Terry, I’m really excited with the future,”
“Liam was absolutely sensational and it was a fabulous performance by him to win the world title in such a conclusive fashion by knocking out Thompson,”
“He really made the boxing world sit up with that performance and there are some cracking big fights to be made with him,”
“Both fights went out live on TV in America and they can’t of failed to have been impressed. We’ve got two great British World champions in Terry and Liam who are going to go on and achieve more great things.”
Indian superstar Vijender Singh got his professional career off to an explosive start with a third round stoppage of Sonny Whiting at the Manchester Arena.
Singh made a successful transition following a highly successful amateur career winning the Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics and now aims to become India’s first ever professional world champion.
He got off to a great start utilising a hard jab and heavy right hand mixed with some hurtful body punching that had Whiting on the back foot. As Singh warmed into the fight he started to hurt Whiting to the body and found the opening for his big overhand right. In the third, Whiting was slowing down from the constant heavy shots and Singh went on the attack, unleashing a brutal four-punch combination with the referee stepping in to halt the action at 2:08 of the round.
With the fight going out live in the UK on BoxNation and to India on Sony Six in front of an estimated 20m audience, a thrilled Singh said afterwards, “That was a great start to my career and I could of hoped for it to go any better,”
“There was a lot of pressure on me with all of India watching me live on TV so I knew that I had to win so I just went for it and the result came,”
“Lee told me to go to the body to soften him up and then as I noticed his hands starting to drop his head was exposed and I went to the head more
“I knew that I was hurting him with my punches and it was only a matter of time before I got to him and in third round I got to him with a beautiful heavy combination and the referee stepped in,”
“This is just the beginning for me so I’m not getting carried away. I’ve got so much to learn in the professionals and there is a long way to yet,”
Singh’s second fight has already been confirmed and he will head to the Harrow Sports Centre in North-West London on Friday 30th November.”
He added, “There is no time to rest, no vacation, I’m now excited to be having my second fight already, it will be on Friday 30th October at the Harrow Sports Centre in London and you will see more improvements from me.”
Francis Warren said, “That was a fantastic performance by Vijender in his debut and there is much more to come from him as he develops. It backs what I’ve said all along in that we have a real star on our hands and with 20 million people watching in India that can’t of failed to excite. Now all the hype around his debut has settled down he can develop at his own pace and I think we’ll see even more from him in Harrow on 30th October.”
FULL RESULTS FROM THE MANCHESTER ARENA
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Middleweight Contest
DALE COYNE WPTS4 (40-36) LUKE ALLON
4 X 3 Minute Middleweight Rounds Contest
JACK FLATTLEY WPTS4 (40-36) LEWIS VAN POETSCH
THE VACANT WBO EUROPEAN BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
RYAN BURNETT WTKO2 (1:24) ROBERT KANALAS
4 X 3 Minute Rounds International Middleweight Contest
VIJENDER SINGH WTKO3 (2:08) SONNY WHITING
THE VACANT WBO EUROPEAN LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
TOM STALKER DPTS10 (97-93 STALKER, 94-96 EVANS 95-95) CRAIG EVANS
THE VACANT WBO EUROPEAN SUPER-FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
ADRIAN GONZALEZ WTKO4 (0:55) JOHN KAYS
THE COMMONWEALTH SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
LUKE BLACKLEDGE WPTS12 (116-113, 115-114, 116-114) LEE MARKHAM
THE WBO INTERCONTINENTAL LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JACK CATTERALL WPTS10 (100-90, 100-90, 100-90) JARKKO PUTONEN
THE VACANT WBO WORLD SUPER-WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHJIP
LIAM SMITH WTKO7 (1:44) JOHN THOMPSON
THE WBO WORLD LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
TERRY FLANAGAN WTKO2 (2:38)DIEGO MAGDALENO
THE VACANT WBO INTERCONTINENTAL SUPER-WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JIMMY KELLY WPTS10 (99-89, 100-87, 98-89) MARTIN FIDEL RIOS