Terry Flanagan is set for his fifth WBO lightweight title defense, as he’ll take on Petr Petrov on April 8 in Manchester, it was announced today at a Frank Warren press conference.
Flanagan (32-0, 13 KO) has not had a particularly distinguished title reign. He won the title in July 2015 when Jose Zepeda suffered a shoulder injury in the second round, and has since defended against Diego Magdaleno, Derry Mathews, Mzonke Fana, and Orlando Cruz, none of whom were considered serious, top tier contenders.
Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KO) is something of a step up, at least from that fairly soft competition. The 33-year-old Russian, now fighting out of Spain, has won six straight fights since a 2013 loss to Dejan Zlaticanin in Montenegro, including winning three fights over Fedor Papazov, Chris Rudd, and finally Fernando Carcamo to win the 2014 ESPN Boxcino lightweight tournament.
Since Boxcino, Petrov has beaten Gamaliel Diaz, Marvin Quintero, and Michael Perez. He’s a fringe top ten fighter in a competitive division, one that lacks a true ruler, and can be a very exciting fighter.
On the same card, Liam Smith (23-1-1, 13 KO) will get a chance to reclaim the WBO junior middleweight title, as he faces Liam Williams (16-0-1, 11 KO) for the vacant belt, which was given up by Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez dominated Smith last September to win the belt in Texas.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams, 34, will also make her pro debut on the show. Adams won the first two Olympic gold medals at flyweight in women’s boxing, dominating in both London and Rio.