Tomorrow night at the National Cycling Center in Manchester, England, lightweights Terry Flanagan and Jose Zepeda square off for the vacant WBO lightweight title on a Frank Warren card presented in association with Zanfer Promotions. The weights are in for the event, which also features some big names on the British scene such as Paul Butler, Liam Walsh and Jack Catterall. Take a look at the main bout sheet and the weights here.
NATIONAL CYCLING CENTER, VELODROME, MANCHESTER – Saturday July 11th 2015
THE VACANT WBO WORLD LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12 X 3 Minute Rounds at 9st 9lbs (135lbs)
TERRY FLANAGAN 9st 9lbs ( 135 lbs) vs. JOSE ZEPEDA 9st 8lbs 8oz (134.5 lbs)
10 X 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Flyweight Contest
PAUL BUTLER 8st 8lbs 8oz vs. GUSTAVO MOLINA 8st 6lbs 4oz
THE VACANT WBO INTERCONTINENTAL LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12 X 3 Minute Rounds 9st 9lbs (135lbs)
LIAM WALSH 9st 8lbs 8oz vs. ISAIAS SANTOS SAMPAIO 9st 7lbs 12oz
THE WBO INTERCONTINENTAL LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
10 X 3 Minute Rounds at 10st (140lbs)
JACK CATTERALL 10st vs. GABRIEL CALFIN 9st 13lbs 8oz
10 X 3 Minute Rounds International Heavyweight Contest
ALEXANDER USTINOV 20st 3lbs 8oz vs. TRAVIS WALKER 17st 11lbs 12oz
Manchester hotshot Terry Flanagan is hoping to emulate his hero Ricky Hatton as he challenges for the lightweight world title this weekend.
The 26-year-old faces knockout artist Jose Zepeda, live and exclusive on BoxNation this Saturday night, with the Ancoats boxer looking to become the WBO champion in front of his home fans at the Manchester Velodrome.
His idol, two-weight world champion Hatton, claimed his first title on home soil when he overcame the highly respected Kostya Tszyu at the M.E.N Arena 10 years ago, a feat which Manchester City fan Flanagan is confident he can also achieve.
“What Ricky did in the sport is truly amazing. I remember as a teenager watching his fight live with Tszyu after me and some mates managed to sneak in and the atmosphere in the arena was electric. The place was buzzing,” said Flanagan.
“When Ricky won that fight people knew he was the real deal and all of Manchester was behind him – City fans and United fans. He drew in everyone and that’s something I’m aiming to do with my fight with Zepeda.
“I’m very confident that I can win this fight and bring the belt back to Manchester and become the first English lightweight world champion in history. It’s going to be a special night for me and a fight I believe will make people sit up and take real notice,” he said.
Hatton has been vocal in his backing of the undefeated Flanagan in the run up to the fight, something which only acts as a major boost for the former British champion, who has 27 wins on his record.
“I’m not fazed at all by fighting on such a big stage. I’m just soaking it all in and the support I have been given is fantastic. To hear Ricky is backing me is a huge motivation for me and that can only spur me on come fight night,” said Flanagan.
“When you hear a legend like Ricky is behind you it gives you that drive and push to go out there and do everything to bring the belt back home.
“I’ve been to his gym and spoke with him and he’s got experience of these situations so I’ve just soaked in all his advice. He’s been there and done it so he knows what he’s talking about and it’s great to have someone with that knowledge in your ear,” he said.
Unbeaten Zepeda though, who is renowned for his hard-hitting after knocking out 20 opponents in his 23 wins, will be just as hungry to have his hand raised at the end of the night.
‘Turbo’, however, is unconcerned at facing someone who is a notoriously quick starter, with 19 of Zepeda’s knockouts coming within the first three rounds.
“We’ve worked a lot on Zepeda and his style, and are well aware of what he’s going to bring into the ring early on,” Flanagan said.
“Steve Maylett, my trainer has got me in great shape for this fight and we have the right gameplan going in against someone with an aggressive style like Zepeda.
“I’m going to look to outbox him, use my skills, and will definitely rise to the challenge on Saturday night. I know what he’s coming with and I’m ready for it. I just can’t wait to get in the ring now and give the fans a really exciting, all action fight,” said Flanagan.