Terry Flanagan Emerges from the Shadows to Make History in Manchester

hi-res-cfa61f855d151a852b4b2cf3e0a84f96_crop_north   By Rob Lancaster –


A decade on from witnessing fellow Mancunian Ricky Hatton defeat Kostya Tszyu, Terry Flanagan enjoyed his own coronation on home turf on Saturday.

Flanagan claimed the vacant WBO lightweight title at the Velodrome in Manchester. It wasn’t quite in the style he would have wanted, though, as opponent Jose Zepeda was forced to stay on his stool after the second round because of injury.

Despite the best efforts of his corner to pop it back in, a dislocated shoulder forced the Californian to pull out.

It was a disappointing finish to an intriguing fight, and because of the problem occurring when the visiting fighter was attempting to throw a punch, Flanagan was handed the win.

Turbo became the first Englishman to hold a full world title at 135 pounds, per James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, though Derry Mathews is the interim WBA champion.

In a division where Britain is blessed with so many good fighters, Flanagan emerged out of the shadows to make history. And in his own backyard, too.

He also followed in the footsteps of his hero Hatton, who became world champion at the MEN Arena by beating Tszyu back in June 2005.

A teenager at the time, Flanagan was there to see the drama unfold that night, even though he didn’t have a ticket. He explained to Gareth A Davies of the Telegraph how he managed to get up close to see his hero in action:

“It’s a lot of luck getting in somewhere free of charge. I just ran past security and ended up going round the other side and down the stairs pretending I had a ticket.