Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
WBO world lightweight champion Terry Flanagan is open to a fight with two-weight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, should the brilliant Ukranian move up in weight.
Lomachenko wrenched the WBO super-featherweight title from Roman Martinez on Saturday, adding it to the featherweight version he already owns.
Manchester’s Flanagan, who defends his title against Mzonke Fana on July 9, would be happy to face Loma and WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin.
“I’d love to take the Lomachenko fight if he stepped up, even the Zlaticanin fight because that’d be a proper unification fight,” he said.
“The Lomachenko fight wouldn’t be bigger in Manchester [than a fight with Anthony Crolla] but worldwide he’s more well-known. I’m not sure what he’s doing but if he wanted to step up I’d be totally open to it.”
WBA lightweight Crolla, also a Mancunian, will meet division leader Jorge Linares in September, with the WBC’s spurious Diamond title also up for grabs, and the winner will have to face Zlaticanin.
Flanagan was eager to face Crolla in a huge domestic showdown later this year, but if Anthony were to lose against the Venezuelan, Terry would move on.
“If he gets beat, that fight’s gone in my eyes,” he said. “I’ll be chasing Linares then, won’t I? I want to unify the division, I don’t want to be fighting Crolla [if he loses] do I?
“People say the public want it and it would mean a lot but that’s not what I’m about, I want to unify the division. I’d chase the winner whether it’s Crolla or Linares.
“It’s a good fight, a 50-50 fight. Linares has been out the ring for a while, that should help swing the fight more in Crolla’s favour.”
Flanagan, who started out at super-feather, started out at super-feather but is now a big lightweight. After winning his title in dubious circumstances when Jose Zepeda retired from their clash for the vacant title through injury, ‘Turbo’ Terry proved his credentials with a two round demolition of Diego Magdaleno in his first defence.
He insists he won’t stay at 135lbs for long, having outpointed Derry Mathews in March, and also took offence to the billing of Crolla’s fight with Linares as a unification bout.
“How long am I going to be at lightweight? I’m a big lightweight, I won’t stay that long,” he said.
“I’ve got two, three fight tops at this weight so if it [a fight with Crolla] doesn’t happen in the next two, three fights it won’t [ever] happen.
“I’ve got my fight with Mzonke to deal with, I’ve got to get that out the way and we’ll see what’s coming after that. Zlaticanin’s got the WBC belt, so I don’t see how Crolla-Linares is a unification fight. That could be a possible fight, hopefully we could get that on.
“I want the biggest fights out there. Crolla got offered the fight for this date and his team don’t want it. Linares isn’t the number one in the world, I think I am and I think Crolla sees me as number one as well, that’s why he don’t want it.”
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