WBO Lightweight Champion, Terry Flanagan, retained his crown with a unanimous decision victory over his mandatory challenger, Petr Petrov at the Manchester Arena.
At the end of the contest, the judges at ringside scored the fight 116-112, 118-110 and 120-108 – all in favour of Flanagan.
Despite such a disparity in the scorecards, it was a tough battle, and perhaps one that Flanagan is happy to have out of the way.
In the opening stanza, Flanagan set the pace – moving well and landing nicely with his left hand.
During the second round, Petrov was able to find his way through Flanagan’s defence but found himself vulnerable to counter attacks every time he launched an assault on the Champion.
Round three was a similar affair, and as a result, in the fourth, Flanagan stepped up the pace.
In the fifth, Petrov made it a scrappy affair, enabling him to land some effective punches. As the round progressed, both fighters received a warning from the referee, Marcus McDonnell. Flanagan was warned for excessive holding, and Petrov was spoken to about his use of the head.
As we moved into the middle rounds, the fight continued to be tightly contested, with Flanagan doing just enough to come out on top.
In the eighth Petrov found success when targeting Flanagan’s body and the Champion found himself in trouble with the referee once again – this time for hitting Petrov around the back of his head.
Flanagan was unable to prevent Petrov coming forward in the ninth round, and as a result, the Russian found some success.
Round eleven saw the two men clash heads with Petrov suffering a cut on his right eye.
In the final round, Petrov seemed to know he needed a stoppage to claim victory and looked to land a big punch. However, Flanagan was able to avoid any dangerous shots and ride the storm to ensure a successful fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight Title.