MANCHESTER star Terry Flanagan put himself in the frame for a shot at the WBO world lightweight title with a victory over Stephen Ormond on February 14 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, after the Irishman was sensationally disqualified in the tenth round for excessive use of the head.
It was a thrilling and absorbing encounter between the rival 135-pounders from the opening bell with plenty of hard shots coming in from both men. Flanagan, coming into the fight as the undefeated British Champion, showed the sharper skills, while Ormond, the defending WBO European Champion, preferred to trade and try to land the harder shots.
In the ninth round Ormond was deducted a point by the referee for using his head and then warned two further times. Then in the next round Ormond again used his head on Flanagan and the referee this time stepped in to wave the fight off, ruling excessive use of the head.
With current WBO champion Terence Crawford expected to vacate the belt shortly and move up to campaign in the light-welterweight division, Flanagan will now have to wait to find who he will fight for the title out of the number one ranked American Juan Diaz and Japan’s number two ranked Takahiro Ao who meet in a WBO ordered eliminator.
Unbeaten Flanagan took his record to 27-0 and adds the WBO European crown to his resume, but he’s thrilled to be now fighting for the WBO World title.
He said, “It was hard in there, Ormond is a tough, tough, fighter, but I had to overcome a fighter like him before I know that I’m ready for the world title. He probably got frustrated in there because I was getting on top with my punches and he used his head. It was a heat of the moment thing, but until the referee stepped in it was a thrilling fight for the fans and I’m over the moon to be now fighting for the world title.”
Fight # 1
6 X 3 Minute Rounds Bantamweight Contest
JAY HARRIS (W TKO 3, 2:29) STEFAN SLAVCHEV
Exciting Swansea prospect Jay Harris takes his record to 5-0 with a third round stoppage of Bulgaria’s Stefan Slavchev, the second stoppage in a row for the Gary Lockett trained fighter.
Fight # 2
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Cruiserweight Contest
SIMON BARCLAY vs. PAUL MORRIS
Corby cruiserweight Simon Barclay continues to improve with each fight and won every round against Preston’s Paul Morris to take his record to five unbeaten.
Fight # 3
6 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Heavyweight Contest
RICKY SUMMERS (W PTS 6, 60-54) MITCH MITCHELL
Tipton favourite Ricky Summers grounded out a hard-fought points win over Lincoln’s tough Mitch Mitchell, taking his record to 8-0 and closing in on his first title shot.
Fight # 4
8 X 3 Minute Rounds Middleweight Contest
JAMIE COX (W KO 1, 2:30) ALISTAIR WARREN
Red hot Jamie Cox said he was going to show that he meant business and he certainly did by blowing away Alistair Warren inside a round. Big-hitting Chris Eubank Jnr. took three rounds to take out Warren, but Swindon ace Cox, who said before the fight that he wanted to break into the top 160lb domestic mix this year with Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jnr. and Martin Murray, ripped into Warren to show that he’s approaching that class. Cox dropped him first with an overhand right, that Warren got up from at the count of eight, Cox then tore into his opponent, mixing hard shots to the head and body that Warren impressively took. Cox then landed a brutal left hook-cum-uppercut that flattened Warren on the canvas. Afterwards Cox said, “It’s great to be back in action. I said what I was going to do and I delivered. I’ve got a lot of respect for Warren, he’s a tough kid who took Eubank Jnr. three rounds, but I’m 28 now and I’m not holding back on my career. You’re going to see the same from me from now on. I’m not calling out the top boys at the weight yet, but I’m coming up behind them, fast.”
Fight # 5
6 X 3 Minute Rounds Lightweight Contest
JOE COSTELLO (W TKO 1, 1:39) SANDOR HORVATH
Super-talent Joe Costello joined stablemate Jamie Cox with a sensational first round win by smashing Hungary’s Sandor Horvath. The Chelmsley Wood ace was on fire as he destroyed Horvath, dropping his with a hard left hook for an eight count and followed that up with another big left for an eight count, with the referee then stepping in to wave it off. Costello will be moved up to eight rounds in his next fight and then a potential first title shot. He said, “I felt sharp in there and I took my time, believe it or not. That’s three stoppages in four fights now, two in the first round, I know that I’ve got the power to take them out. People say I should be getting the rounds in, but I say why should I? I know I can whack and it’s more exciting! I’m looking at moving up to eight rounds next and then it could be a title fight. I love this sport and I’m in it for the glory.”
Fight # 6
8 X 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Featherweight Contest
CRAIG EVANS (W PTS 8, 80-73) JACKEC WYLEZOL
Undefeated Welsh talent Craig Evans cruised to his 14th straight win and looks to challenge for belts in his next fight. Hurting his left hand early in the fight, Evans had to use his jab and skills to outwork his game opponent. He said, “I felt my left hand go around the second or third round and knew I had to use my skills for the rest of the fight to make sure I came away with the win.”
Fight # 7
10 X 3 Minute Rounds Middleweight Contest
TOMMY LANGFORD (W TKO 5, 2:31) WAYNE REED
Jamie Cox wasn’t the only middleweight in action tonight, fast rising prospect Tommy Langford is another exciting talent coming up the 160lb domestic division. The Devon fighter, now based in Birmingham, dropped Reed twice in the fourth round, but was up at the count of eight on both knockdowns, and in the next round Langford went for a ruthless finish. Now unbeaten in twelve fights, Langford is knocking on the door of a title fight this year. “It was an exciting fight and a great finish. Although I did get caught in there a bit, and that doesn’t usually happen to me, I showed some good skills and plenty of heart of firepower. I was especially pleased with my body punching and mixing up with head shots. He was a very tough and game kid and I’m very happy with the performance, but there is still plenty to work on.”