IT’S been a decade since the heady days of Ricky Hatton. But two Manchester lightweights are getting the opportunities to try to join him as world titlists in rapid succession.
First up, on Saturday (July 11) Terry Flanagan fights Jose Zepeda for the vacant WBO lightweight crown at the Velodrome.
Ricky Hatton himself said, “Terry is a tremendous fighter and nothing would make me prouder than to see him become world champion in Manchester.
“Terry is a local lad, he’s come up the hard way and worked his way to the world title and to see him win would be a fantastic success story for Manchester and British boxing.
“His fight against Zepeda is almost 10 years to the month from my great win over Tszyu, who at the time was a pound-for-pound great, and Terry has to overcome a massive puncher in Zepeda to achieve his dream.
“Frank Warren, like he did with me against Tszyu, has got Terry all the advantages, he’s got the world title for him in his home city and with his home fans he can really pull this off and be crowned world champion and if he does that then I’ll happily give him my ‘Hitman’ tag.”
Tickets are for the Flanagan bill, which also features Paul Butler, Jack Catterall and Thomas Stalker are available HERE.
The following week, on July 18, Anthony Crolla takes to the Manchester Arena, the site of Hatton’s greatest triumph, to challenge WBA titlist Darleys Perez. After confronting two men burgling his neighbour’s house, Crolla was attacked and badly injured. But he’s staged an incredible recovery and feels the whole city is backing him to win the WBA belt.
“The support I have received since the attack has been overwhelming. People always say that you should win world titles for yourself but winning this belt would be the best thank you I could give to everyone that has helped on my road to recovery,” Anthony said.
Tickets to the Perez-Crolla show, which also features Scott Quigg-Kiko Martinez, Sam Eggington versus Glenn Foot and Chris Jenkins-Tyrone-Nurse, are available HERE.