British lightweight star Terry Flanagan has his eyes on the WBO title clash between Raymondo Beltran and Takahiro Ao. Mexican hitman Beltran and Japanese ace Ao clash on Friday night at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas for the WBO 135lb crown vacated by Terence Crawford with Flanagan, the mandatory challenger for the title, in line to face the winner next.
Flanagan defeated Irish rival Stephen Ormond in February to claim his WBO mandatory challenger position and also the WBO European crown, with an action packed performance to prove that he’s ready for his world title shot.
The unbeaten Manchester star can’t wait to see who he will end up facing in the ring for the world title, before watching who emerges victorious in the biggest fight of the modern era.
“Thankfully Mayweather v Pacquaio is on Saturday night, but if it was on Friday night, no question, I would have to watch Beltran and Ao!
“On a professional level, because I’ll be definitely be facing the winner out of Beltran and Ao next, I want to know who I’ll be fighting and seeing how they perform so I can get my mind focused on them for when the fight is set.
“Personally I’d like to see Beltran win the title so I’d get him. He’s the bigger name in America and brings more recognition so it would make sense for me to fight him. He’s lost his two previous attempts at the title and I think he’ll be third time lucky against Ao.
“The draw to Burns was very controversial and many people believe he won it so he should really be champion, but in the loss to Crawford he was genuinely outpointed by the then best lightweight in the world.
“I haven’t seen too much of Ao, but from what I have seen he looks a very tough and hard fighter, he’s a two-time and two-weight world champion winning titles at featherweight and super-featherweight and has never been stopped in his three losses.
“I’ve got a feeling that Beltran will come out on top in this one in what will be a hard fight and I’ll finally know who I’m going to face.
“Then on Saturday night like everybody else on this planet I can’t wait for Mayweather v Pacquiao as it’s the biggest fight in my lifetime. Mayweather is the best boxer out there, but something is telling me Pacquiao is going to win this one on points.”