With the WBO lightweight title still vacant after Terence Crawford moved up in weight and Ray Beltran missed weight for his TKO win over Takahiro Ao, the sanctioning body has ordered that Terry Flanagan and Jose Zepeda will meet to finally crown a new titleholder, and they've got another fight in the works for a first challenger to the winner of that bout.
Flanagan (27-0, 10 KO) fights out of Manchester, England, and beat Martin Gethin to win the British lightweight title last July, never defending it. (Scott Cardle faces Craig Evans for the belt on May 30.) In his last bout, he beat Stephen Ormond by DQ in 10 rounds on February 14. He won a Prizefighter tournament in 2012.
Zepeda (23-0, 20 KO) is a California fighter who has displayed big early power so far in his career, including a current four-fight knockout streak where no one has gotten past 2:22 of round three. The 25-year-old has actually never made the lightweight limit in his career, and has mostly fought at catchweights a bit north of 140.
Flanagan-Zepeda will go to purse bid on Thursday, with $150K the minimum.
The winner of that fight will have to face the winner of a fight between Petr Petrov (36-4-2, 17 KO) and Jose "Chepo" Gonzalez (24-1, 19 KO). Petrov won the lightweight Boxcino tournament last year, and Gonzalez was outpointing Ricky Burns in 2013 before retiring from the fight after nine rounds. He's won his last two.
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Lateef Kayode (20-0, 16 KO) will face Nick Kisner (14-1-1, 5 KO) in a 10-round heavyweight main event on May 29, with CBS Sports Network televising from Nashville. Kayode, 32, had a draw against Antonio Tarver in 2012 and a loss to Luis Ortiz last year overturned when both of his opponents failed post-fight drug tests.
Kisner, 24, is a Baltimore fighter nicknamed "Slick Nick," and has never fought beyond a six-rounder.
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Featherweight prospect Luis "KO King" Rosa (19-0, 9 KO) will face Jonathan Perez (33-10, 17 KO) in the Friday Night Fights co-feature this week, fighting at home in Connecticut, and he's looking to make an impression on TV.
"This is a huge fight for me," Rosa said. "It's great fighting on ESPN and I'm going to show the nation what I'm all about. I'm prepared to put on an explosive show. I feel that I'm close to getting a title shot. I want to fight world-class opponents and I plan to prove I'm ready on Friday night."