Manchester's Terry Flanagan has the opportunity to win his first world title on home soil this Saturday when he takes on undefeated Jose Zepeda at the Velodrome for the vacant WBO Lightweight belt.
The 26-year old, nicknamed 'Turbo', has had an unblemished career so far with a 27-0 record.
The achievements for the southpaw include an English super featherweight strap, a prizefighter tournament 135Ib winner's trophy, a British Lightweight title and the current WBO European holder in the divison.
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The Englishman has claimed impressive victories over Derry Matthews (3 rounder prizefighter tournament), Nate Campbell and most recently Steven Ormond. Now though Flanagan has the opportunity to emulate Manchester's own Ricky Hatton by winning the world title in his back yard which is what 'The Hitman' did 10 years ago when he defeated Kostya Tszyu.
The opponent Jose Zepeda is a massive puncher with 20 of his 23 wins coming by KO. The 26 year old American is yet to be properly tested and this is the first time Zepeda is travelling to England for a professional bout having fought all his career in Mexico and California.
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An unbeaten hard puncher is always going to be a challenge and Flanagan has never been in with such a banger but with Zepeda fighting in the Englishman's home town the atmosphere will be nothing like he would have experienced before.
Its occasions like this that can make or break you as a boxer we just have to wait to see how Jose Zepeda reacts in the Velodrome.
Exciting Domestic Challengers
Flanagan has the chance to become WBO lightweight champion in a division that is red hot domestically and if 'Turbo' is to be crowned this Saturday then there are some huge all British scraps that we could look forward too.
Derry Matthews is the current interim WBA 135Ib champion, the Liverpudlian is under the same promoter as Flanagan in Frank Warren and a fight down the line would be massive especially with the Manchester vs Liverpool connection.
Kevin Mitchell is looking to get a rematch with WBC holder Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla faces Darleys Perez for the WBA regular lightweight belt next Saturday. The reality of these domestic bouts taking place is unlikely mainly due to promotional and TV issues but there is hope that some mega unification fights could be made in England providing the fighters win their piece of gold first.
'Turbo' To Achieve Dream?
The 26-year old WBO challenger will have the spotlight all to himself this Saturday. A masterful career so far, Flanagan has had very little media attention whilst his rivals have marketed themselves well, headlined major cards and claimed world honours in their own homecoming event.
'Turbo' now has the chance to make his own history, if he wins on Saturday then he can say he is a world champion, his fellow 135Ib countrymen will rank behind him, but in a show where Flanagan seems destined to win, we must remember in boxing that one punch can change everything and Jose Zepeda definitely packs a punch.
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