Category Archives: Press

May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015
Lee Selby

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LEE SELBY ripped the IBF World Featherweight title from Evgeny Gradovich with a stunning display at The O2 in London.

Selby ran rings around the Russian champion from the off, peppering him with classy shots from all angles, picking off the relentless come-forward visitor at will and making him miss on his rare attacks.

Gradovich – defending his crown for the fifth time and coming into the fight as the IBF boxer of the year – sustained a bad cut by his right eye from an accidental head-clash and Selby’s constant heavy blows made that gash worse and worse by the round, with the referee halting the contest in the eighth round.

The fight went to the judges but the dominance of Selby was clear, and the judges agreed with cards of 79-73, 80-72, 79-73 naming Selby as the new World champion.

“I can’t explain how I feel,” said Selby. “I have been working for this for so long. I started boxing 20 years ago and had my first amateur fight 18 years ago. It means so much and I would like to dedicate this to my brother Michael who is always looking over me.


“When I go into a fight I go it to adapt. In for the first round I go behind the jab, see what they come with and I have that style where I can adapt. If I have to go forward I go forward or I can box on the back foot. I see what they come with, I listen to my corner and I box to my instructions

“I caught him and I wobbled him. I didn’t bother following up, I was going to break him down. He is a similar fighter to my last opponent Joel Brunker so I was planning on breaking him down but we had two accidental clashes of heads and that stopped the fight.”


May 29, 2015
May 29, 2015

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FORMER four-division world champion and Mexican boxing icon Erik “El Terrible” Morales is the new trainer for undefeated Jessie Vargas.  Morales, who received the call a few days ago, is already in Vargas’ Las Vegas-based training camp preparing him for the biggest fight of his professional career, against former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley. Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs), a native of Los Angeles who now lives in Las Vegas, and Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, California, will go mano a mano for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world title Saturday June 27 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

These two gladiators boast a combined record of 57-1-1 (21 KOs) — a winning percentage of 97%.

“I am very religious so I began to pray for the right person to train me,” said Vargas.  “Instantly, the name of Erik Morales came to me. I was able to track him down and he came right to our training camp in Las Vegas.  I watched practically of all Erik’s big fights – the wars with Marco Antonio Barrera, the fights against Manny Pacquiao.  Erik always fought hard and with all his heart. That’s who I want in my corner, someone who will give me everything they have to beat Bradley.”

“I’ve trained many fighters in Mexico.  But Jessie is the best fighter I will be working with and this is the biggest fight, against Bradley,” said Morales. “We will win this fight. Jessie will put on pressure with intelligence and mix it up, using counter-punching. Bradley likes to go into his comfort zone in the ring. We will attack there too.”



May 27, 2015
May 27, 2015

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NATHAN CLEVERLY returns to action at light-heavyweight on Saturday night – with the Welshman looking to get back on the World title trail at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Cleverly is back down to 175lbs after tackling bitter rival Tony Bellew up at Cruiserweight in November, and the former World champion is eyeing a clash with Juergen Brahmer in the autumn.

The 28 year old held the WBO World Light Heavyweight crown for three years and will be looking to rip the WBA belt from the German who defended it for the fourth time in March against their common foe Robin Krasniqi.

“I am looking forward to my return at Light Heavyweight,” said Cleverly, who meets Thomas Man over eight rounds in Greenwich. “It is all about making sure I am feeling good back at that weight and doing the weight properly.

“I feel good in training at the weight and am making the weight comfortably. It has been six months since I was last in the ring so I am looking forward to getting back in there and getting some cobwebs off. Hopefully after Saturday night I will have something big to concentrate on – which I hope will be the Brahmer fight.

“I understand it has been provisionally agreed and a date has been provisionally agreed, it is just a matter of me coming through Saturday and we can make an announcement then.

“I think going over there will be quite an enjoyable adventure. There will be no pressure of your home crowd, you can concentrate on going over there and your mind is 100 per cent on the fight. Sometimes being the home fighter, with the big build up, the pressure and the added media hype can be a bit distracting.

“Going over there will be an enjoyable experience. It is a little bit out of my comfort zone but sometimes that can be more of an adventure and it will be great to rip the title away from the champion in his hometown.

“He is good fighter, strong and technically good, nothing sensational but he does the basics well. He has a solid left hand and is a good power puncher. He is a good champion, he has been around a long time and has a good amateur pedigree but it is certainly a fight that has been on my radar for a long time.

“We have a lot of history, me and Brahmer. It would be nice if we could finally get this fight on because it has been meaning to happen for a long, long time. Let’s just both get in the ring and settle it once and for all. I have to respect his power but I feel I have too much for Juergen Brahmer.

“I think the difference between then and now, I had great momentum. I was on a great winning streak, a lot of KO and TKO victories, and my confidence was super high whereas Brahmer was having a flat spell. He was suffering mentally, he was a little bit flat. But now Brahmer is flourishing and I have gone off the boil and lost a bit of momentum. You could say I have lost a touch of confidence but that is something that will develop through training and performances.

“I want to get this fight done on Saturday and then going into the Brahmer fight, yes there will be question marks because I won’t have the momentum like I did a few years back, but I believe I am more mature mentally and physically. I believe that combined with speed and my combinations will overcome Brahmer.

“I rate my chances very, very highly. I am a big Light Heavyweight and I have campaigned at Cruiserweight so I have experience of fighting bigger buys. Going into the fight I believe I might be the slight favourite. Brahmer is 36, he is coming off a good few wins and it will be in Germany, I think being the younger fighter and back at Light Heavyweight, probably my true division. I could be the favourite. But he is the champion and it will be for me to rip that title from Brahmer.”

Cleverly’s return to action is part of a massive night of action at The O2, topped by three World title fights.

Sheffield’s Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, Londoner Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight belt and Welsh stylist Lee Selby attempts to take the IBF Featherweight crown from Evgeny Gradovich.

Anthony Joshua MBE steps-up in class against Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson and there are three great domestic title bouts on the undercard with John Ryder tackling Nick Blackwell for the vacant British Middleweight strap, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans tussle for the vacant British Lightweight belt and Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert. Former World champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.

May 25, 2015
May 25, 2015

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KEVIN ‘KINGPIN’ JOHNSON has branded Anthony Joshua as a ‘hype job’ ahead of their clash on a bumper night of action The O2 on Saturday May 30, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Johnson wants to make it an unlucky 13 for the Olympic gold medal hero who has blasted away all of his first 12 opponents inside three rounds since his debut at the Greenwich venue in October 2013.

‘Kingpin’ has never been stopped in his career and took Vitali Klitschko the distance in their world title fight in 2009 and went the full 12 with Joshua’s domestic rivals Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora – and the Georgia man says he is in the best shape of his career and will expose the London fans’ favourite.

“He is a media hype job and let me tell you this, once this dude is out the way I’m going to show you that the future of the heavyweight division is right here,” said Johnson. “I’ve said it before, I’ve got the antidote for this guy. It’s something all of these amateur Olympic guys have in them, you’ll see come Saturday – that’s all I’m going to say on that.

“I’ve been here for two months now and not remotely homesick – I’m hungry for something, and I know what I’m about to get.

“My training has been in a highly classified location, we been keeping everything under wraps and under the hat, so nobody know about that. We don’t want to be scaring people off.

“I’ve been ready for two weeks. Let me tell you this – I’ve been a pro since 2003, this is the best shape and condition I’ve ever been in during my whole career

“For the last two years I didn’t even train and I didn’t even care. The days of hurting my career are over. I blew it by not training and just turning up – but not for this, not for this right here!

“I’m going to give the fans exactly what they deserve, something I’ve had deep down inside of me. It’s taken for someone over here in the UK to bring that out of me. I’m not going to complain.

“Let me tell you how real it is – this preparation tops Vitali Klitschko preparation – that guy was then the biggest in the world. That was supposed to be your biggest preparation right there. For Vitali I was 60 per cent, this I’m 100 per cent so I don’t know what else to say. I’m really afraid of myself to be at this point right here, I’m going to be explosive.”

Johnson’s meeting with Joshua is part of a massive night of action in London with three World title fights at the top of the bill.

Sheffield’s Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, Londoner Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight belt and Welsh stylist Lee Selby attempts to take the IBF Featherweight crown from Evgeny Gradovich.

There are three great domestic title bouts on the undercard with John Ryder tackling Nick Blackwell for the vacant British middleweight strap, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans tussle for the vacant British Lightweight belt and Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth light-welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert. Former world champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.

May 25, 2015
May 25, 2015
Yasnier Toledo (Cuba Domadores)

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Cuba Domadores qualify for WSB Final after first leg victory over Mexico Guerreros

A dominant 5-0 victory in Havana on May 21 from Cuba Domadores over Mexico Guerreros extended their undefeated run in Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) to 15 matches, and qualified the North American team into the WSB Finals for the second year in a row.

Only four matches could take place in the next day’s second leg due to Light heavyweight (81 kg) Carlos Mina being unable to weigh-in and compete, which makes Cuba’s five match lead impossible to overhaul.

From the opening seconds of action Cuba displayed the skill and speed that has personified their boxing style for decades, while Mexico impressed despite fielding an inexperienced team which included three boxers making their season debut.

This was Cuba’s ninth whitewash victory of the season, and defeating them in the Final will be a hugely difficult task for either Astana Arlans Kazakhstan or Russian Boxing Team.

The night began with an assertive victory at Light flyweight (49 kg) from Cuba’s Joahnys Oscar Argilagos Perez, who secured his sixth win of the season against Mexican debutant Jose Daniel Rojas Romero.

Perez is just 18-years-old, but fights in the manner of a much more experienced boxer, and his control of the match was clear from the outset.

Romero was dogged and occasionally elusive, but the speed of Perez negated all Mexican attacks, which allowed the Domadore to accurately pick his punches.

At the end of the contest, all three judges awarded every round to the electrifying youngster.

London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez returned to WSB for the first time since January, and made up for lost time as he defeated Bantamweight (56 kg) Ivan Jesus Delgado.

Ramirez started the bout with great intent, stamping his authority across all three minutes of the first round with stiff jabs and sharp right hands.

Delgado improved from that point forward however, and though Ramirez claimed the second round according to the judges, the superior stamina of his rival saw him lose the third frame on two scorecards.

Despite his fading legs, Ramirez rallied to clinch the last two rounds, and he doubled Cuba’s advantage with a unanimous decision triumph.

Two-time AIBA World Championships silver medalist Yasnier Toledo then earned his seventh win of the season, and secured an unassailable first leg lead for Cuba against Roberto Zariñana Gomez.

Toledo was the better fighter in each round, and showcased his wide range of attacks which frequently troubled Zariñana.

Many Cuban fighters are blessed with phenomenal footwork, but Toledo’s is at another level entirely, and his quick feet enabled him to maneuver the bout as he saw fit.

Cuba’s lead increased further after 7-1 Middleweight (75 kg) Arlen Lopez widely outpointed Mexico’s Misael Uriel Rodríguez Oliva.

Lopez enjoyed a sizeable height and reach advantage, and his shot variety was impressive with his uppercuts a particularly potent weapon.

WSB Season IV Boxer of the Season Erislandy Savon vaulted over the ropes into the ring before his Heavyweight (91 kg) meeting with Ecuador’s Julio Cesar Castillo Torres, and he was similarly jubilant after enjoying his eighth win of the campaign.

Both fighters had undefeated records prior to the start of the fight, and a cagey first round exploded into life in the last 30 seconds as it appeared that Castillo had knocked Savon down with a right hand.

Despite the referee indicating the knockdown, all three judges awarded the first round to Savon who began the second frame with intent, after perhaps feeling embarrassed at what had just occurred.

With menace in his eyes, a right-left combo knocked Torres down early in round two, before the Ecuadorian was forced to pull out of the fight moments later due to an injured nose.

The TKO win not only kept Savon’s unbeaten run going, but also assured Cuba of a place in their second successive WSB Final.

Cuba Domadores qualify for their second WSB Final after 10-0 aggregate win over Mexico Guerreros

World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV Champions Cuba Domadores earned an entertaining 5-0 victory over Mexico Guerreros in the second leg of their semi-final on May 22, and reached the WSB Final 10-0 on aggregate.

After their first leg whitewash triumph, Cuba began tonight’s action having already qualified for the Final as Mexico was unable to produce a boxer in the Light heavyweight (81 kg) division.

Ecuador’s Carlos Mina could not weigh-in for his proposed match with Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz due to illness, so their contest was declared a walkover win for La Cruz which gave Cuba an unassailable 6-0 lead before a glove had been thrown in Havana.

This was Cuba’s tenth 5-0 whitewash of Season V, and they will next meet either Astana Arlans Kazakhstan or Russian Boxing Team as they bid to become WSB Champions for the second year in a row.

Frank Osvaldo Zaldívar Santisteban displayed the strength of the Cuban team as he began the evening by winning his WSB debut against 4-4 Mexican Flyweight (52 kg) Orlando Huitzil Ahuatl.

Santisteban is a very exciting prospect, and impressed throughout his contest with the experienced Ahuatl.

Both Flyweights continually pressed forward, but it was the Cuban athlete who controlled the important elements of the bout, and eventually won 49-46 according to one judge, and 48-47 on the remaining scorecards.

Two-time AIBA World Champion Lazaro Alvarez earned Cuba’s third win of the evening, and took his Season V record to 8-0 in the process with a dominant performance over 5-2 Lindolfo Delgado.

Alvarez is one of the smoothest in-ring technicians of WSB, and his excellent versatility confounded Delgado in every round.

The penultimate match of this semi-final was a Welterweight (69 kg) rematch between Cuba’s Olympic and AIBA World Championships gold medalist Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo and Héctor Andrés Reyes Anguiano, where once again this season the Cuban star defeated his Mexican rival.

Sotolongo had struggled to truly impress in this campaign despite his many accolades, but he improved immensely in Havana to show exactly why he is regarded as one of the best boxers in the world.

Hard right hands and stiff jabs forced Anguiano backwards despite his attacking instincts, and the Mexican fighter was forced to take a standing count in the fifth round after being hit by a left hook.

All three judges awarded every round to Sotolongo who looks back to his brilliant best.

7-1 super-heavyweight (91& kg) Domadore Lenier Eunice Pero closed the semi-final in style for Cuba as he stopped former Pan American Games bronze medalist Jorge Quiñonez in round one of their contest.

Pero dropped Quiñonez with a left hook to the body less than a minute into the frame, and a follow-up shot to the midsection forced the end of the match shortly after.

Cuba now has a 73-7 record this season, and look virtually unbeatable heading into the WSB Final.

Amazing Astana Arlans Kazakhstan dominate Russian Boxing Team in semi-final first leg

A powerful first leg performance from Astana Arlans Kazakhstan resulted in a 5-0 victory over Russian Boxing Team on May 23.

Kazakhstan began the fixture strongly as their lower weight class boxers took them into an early lead, and their grip tightened as the matches progressed.

3-1 Light flyweight (49 kg) Temirtas Zhussupov gave Kazakhstan a perfect start as he won every round against 1-1 Vadim Kudriakov in the opening match.

Zhussupov was the busier boxer throughout the contest, and managed to nullify the attacks of Kudriako while frequently choosing the right moment to launch his own punches.

2013 AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Kairat Yeraliyev doubled Kazakhstan’s lead at Bantamweight (56 kg) when he outpointed Russia’s 1-1 Andranik Grigorian.

After Yeraliyev dominated the first three rounds, his Russian Rival finished strongly, but because of his poor start he could not make up the rounds difference.

Kazakh light-welterweight (64 kg) Samat Bashenov achieved his sixth win of the season, and put his franchise into an unassailable lead in the third match, but was made to work very hard for his win by Russia’s 23-year-old Avak Uzlian.

All three judges awarded the first round to Uzlian who was busier and more effective in the first three minutes, before Bashenov took the next three rounds as his WSB experience became apparent.

Uzlian never gave up however, and dominated the last round, but Bashenov had impressed enough to secure the victory by unanimous decision 49-46, and 48-47 on two scorecards.

6-0 middleweight (75 kg) Meiirim Nursultanov enjoyed a more comfortable triumph against  Russian debutant Sukhrob Sidikov, as he dropped just one round on a single scorecard to make it 4-0 on the night for Kazakhstan.

Few boxers are as entertaining to watch in the ring as Nursultanov, and he delighted the home crowd with a very accomplished performance.

In the last match of the first leg, number one ranked heavyweight (91 kg) Vassiliy Levit dominated Russia’s Vitaly Kudukhov to seal the whitewash for his team.

Levit has blown away the majority of his opponents this season, and his eighth success of Season V was no different.

The first three rounds saw Levit utilise power shots from both hands, before Kudukhov was disqualified midway through the fourth round.

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan defeat Russian Boxing Team 9-1 on aggregate in WSB Semi-Final

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan qualified for their third World Series of Boxing (WSB) final by defeating Russian Boxing Team 4-1 in the second leg of their semi-final, which gave them an overall 9-1 victory on aggregate.

Despite the 4-1 result, the second leg was a much closer event than the first night of action as Russia’s brave fighters pushed the Kazakh athletes throughout each match.

Kazakhstan will now meet defending Champions Cuba Domadores in the most eagerly anticipated WSB Final of all time.

4-1 Flyweight (52 kg) Olzhas Sattibayev confirmed Kazakhstan’s qualification when he defeated Russia’s 1-2 Karen Arutiunian in the first match of the evening.

Backed by a tremendously loud and supportive crowd, Sattibayev controlled the first three rounds with his busy style making life difficult for his Russian rival.

Arutiunian improved in the latter stages of the contest as he began to use a wider range of punches, but his late rally was not enough, and Sattibayev earned a unanimous decision victory.

Kazak Lightweight (60 kg) Zakir Safiullin then doubled the lead for his team against Artur Subkhankulov, but he was forced to work hard for his success in every second of their bout.

This was an energetic contest which saw both boxers throw many punches, but it was Safiullin whose skills impressed a little more in the first two rounds.

Subkhankulov began round three with more intent, and continually pressed forward against a more defensive Safiullin which impressed the judges in the frame.

Channelling the success of his teammates over the course of this season, the Kazakh star averted the third round crisis, and was awarded the bout by one round on all three scorecards.

Another close match was at welterweight (69 kg) where 2013 AIBA World Champion Daniyar Yeleussinov edged a narrow split decision win over Russian debutant Iagub Nuriev.

Although he was making his first appearance of the season, Nuriev was confident against his decorated opponent, and reacted well to losing the first two rounds by staging an incredible comeback as the five round distance suited his style.

Yeleussinov tired at the beginning of the fourth round, and was forced into a brawl with Nuriev, with the World Champion unable to control the Russian mauler in the fifth round either.

Nuriev was relentless in his attacks and he attempted to rough up Yeleussinov to force a stoppage that would give him one of the most surprising results in WSB history.

It was not to be however, as Yeleussinov held on to take the match to the scorecards, where two judges awarded him the contest by one round, with Nuriev winning on the third scorecard.

This was one of the WSB’s most entertaining matches of all time, and Nuriev is a boxer to watch next season.

Russia claimed their lone victory in the semi-final at light-heavyweight (81 kg) when 2-0 Eduard Yakushev outpointed Nurdaulet Zharmanov.

Yakushev lost the first round as he struggled to deal with the movement of Zharmanov, but he reacted well to the task in hand, and won all of the four remaining rounds with quick punches and rugged strength.

Super-heavyweight (91& kg) Ivan Dychko sealed the 4-1 victory for Astana Arlans, and won his opening bout of the season as he stopped Russia’s Ruslan Shamalov.

Dychko’s power was evident in the first round, and he began the second frame impressively, with a huge right hand sending Shamalov down the canvas.

The Russian athlete was brave in returning to his feet, but the referee was forced to stop the contest as he was in no position to continue.

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan has now won 15 of their 16 matches this season, and will be full of confidence heading into their final with Cuba Domadores.

May 21, 2015
May 21, 2015

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OSCAR DE LA HOYA believes Kevin Mitchell’s WBC World Lightweight title clash with Jorge Linares is a must-watch fight at The O2 in London on May 30, live on Sky Sports.

Linares is promoted by Golden Boy and hall of fame legend De La Hoya expects his charge to be severely tested by hometown favourite Mitchell, the popular Dagenham man who is hoping to make it third time lucky in World title fights.

The Venezuelan became a three-weight World champion when he landed the vacant title in December, stopping Javier Prieto in four rounds in Tokyo, his home for over ten years. The clash between the well-travelled 29 year old and his 30 year old challenger is one of the most hotly-anticipated bouts on a bumper bill in London, and De la Hoya expects fight fans to be royally entertained by the battle.

“Jorge Linares is a World champion fighter and is determined to give Kevin Mitchell a difficult time in the ring as he looks to defend his title on May 30,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Mitchell may have hometown advantage but Linares’ speed and skill will give Mitchell a considerable challenge in the ring. Make no mistake though: this will be a difficult fight for both Linares and Mitchell and one that is sure to excite.”

Linares’ World title defence against Mitchell is part of a massive night of action at The O2, with Kell Brook defending his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, while Lee Selby challenges Evgeny Gradovich for the Russian’s IBF World Featherweight title.

Olympic Heavyweight hero Anthony Joshua MBE faces his toughest test in the paid ranks against former World title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson and there are three great all-domestic title dust-ups.

John Ryder faces Nick Blackwell for the vacant British Middleweight title, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans clash for the vacant British Lightweight title and Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth Light Welterweight strap against John Wayne Hibbert. Former World champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.

May 20, 2015
May 20, 2015

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TERRY FLANAGAN aims to be crowned WBO World Lightweight Champion in front of his home fans when he faces American KO king Jose Zepeda on Saturday July 11 at the Velodrome (The National Cycling Centre) in Manchester.

With this year being the 10th Anniversary of Manchester idol Ricky Hatton’s epic win over Kostya Tsyzu, Flanagan will be looking to emulate his hero and deliver a similar performance against dangerous Zepeda to win the title.

Flanagan headlines the blockbuster show ‘Turbo’  that also features British stars Billy Joe Saunders, Liam Walsh and Jack Catterall all in championship title action and the return of Paul Butler on one big night of action, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

An announcement for ticket on-sale date will be made shortly.

Promoter Frank Warren secured Flanagan his dream of a world title shot on home soil when he reached an agreement with Zepeda’s promoter Top Rank last week and avoided a scheduled purse bid for the vacant title.

With Flanagan’s world title fight secured, the showdown with Zepeda has to be staged within a certain time frame and with a fight of this magnitude it requires a large venue to host it.  This has meant that the Queensberry Promotions show on Saturday June 20 at the Liverpool Olympia – featuring Butler and Catterall plus top talents Tom Stalker, Adrian Gonzalez, Steven Lewis, Joe Costello, McCaulay McGowan and Andrew Cain – will now form the undercard on the Velodrome show.

Flanagan, 25, holds a sparkling unbeaten record of 27 fights with 10 KO’s and in his last fight defeated Stephen Ormond in a thrilling fight to claim the WBO European crown when the Irishman was disqualified in the tenth round due to persistent use of the head.

If he’s going to make his dream a reality, Flanagan needs to overcome knockout specialist Zepeda from California, who’s ranked at number five in the WBO, and has stopped 20 out of his 23 victim, with a staggering 16 KO’s coming inside the first three rounds.

Southpaw hitter Flanagan is thrilled to get his moment of glory in front of his home fans and says the Velodrome will be packed with his followers on the night.

“It’s a dream to fight for the world title on my own doorstep and it will be an electric atmosphere on the night at the Velodrome ,” said Flanagan.

“I’d have fought Zepeda anywhere because to get a world title fight has been my dream since first putting on the gloves, but my promoter Frank Warren has really pulled out all the stops to get me my chance in my backyard as he believes in me and I’ll repay that faith by becoming world champion.

“Ricky Hatton is a big hero of mine and I was at his fight against Kostya Tszyu and that was one amazing night.  If I put in a top performance and win the title on the tenth anniversary year of that fight it will be an incredible feeling.

“Zepeda can certainly punch, he’s stopped nearly all of his opponents with the majority coming inside three rounds.  It’s not just about being able to punch at this level, though, what happens when I start dragging him into the later rounds and he’s going into uncharted territory? Can he cope with the pace I’m going to set? These are all questions he’s going to be asked of him and remember I can bang as well.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy fight, it’s the biggest and hardest night of my life and I’m going to train and prepare for this like never before and do everything I can to win that belt.”

A sensational line-up on the show will also feature middleweight ace Billy Joe Saunders as chief support in a warm-up contest as he closes in on WBO World Champion Andy Lee for an Autumn showdown.

Exciting Cromer talent Liam Walsh defends his British and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight titles on the card against mandatory challenger Troy James as continues on the path to world glory.

Ellesmere Port star Paul Butler, the Former IBF World Bantamweight Champion, makes his highly-anticipated comeback as he looks to get back on track with a history making second world title at super-flyweight still in his sights.

And lastly Chorley ace Jack Catterall makes the second defence of his WBO Intercontinental Light-Welterweight title as he marks himself as one of Britain’s hottest young talents.

Promoter Frank Warren said, “I’m delighted to return to Manchester with this fantastic summer show featuring some of the best talent in British boxing.

“I’ve delivered Terry his world title shot on home soil, he’s now got all the home advantages, and he has to translate that in the ring and beat Zepeda, who will certainly give Terry plenty to think about with that huge knockout punch he carries.

“Saunders is hot on the heels of a showdown with Andy Lee for the WBO World title next so he’ll be looking to be at his best.  For Paul this is his comeback on the big stage and he’s going to want to show that he means business second time around.  Liam is one of the most exciting fighters in the country and he’s approaching world class so he’ll be looking for another great showing.  I’m really excited with Jack’s development and he could be the next Ricky Hatton as he brings excitement every time he fights.”