iFL TV spoke to an enthused Terry Flanagan (27-0, 10 KO’s) during final preparations before he attempts to claim the vacant WBO World lightweight title against Jose Zepeda (23-0, 20 KO’s) this Saturday night in his hometown of Manchester, England.
The gym they stood in was brimming with Flanagan fans and the fighter said he is counting on everybody’s support to inspire him through the sticky patches that are sure to come about against a young, unbeaten fighter like himself.
“It’d mean everything. I done whatever I could to get it over here.”
“There will be hard times in the fight, but I believe I’m gonna come through em’ and be victorious on the night.”
Winning a World title at home means so much to the southpaw Mancunian that he even gave his promoter Frank Warren and his familial associates permission to make a financial sacrifice if that is what it took to stage the fight in his city.
“I said to the Warrens to get it over here and I’m happy to take the smaller cut to give myself the best chance of winning and I believe that’s over here on my doorstep with all the Manchester crowd getting behind me and pushing me through when it gets hard.”
The ‘hometown decision’ is a contemptuous concept in boxing, but Flanagan seemed more concerned with performing in familiar territory than having undue support from the judges.
This will be the biggest occasion in both competitors’ careers with neither having made the jump up for a world title beforehand. The visiting Californian has an impressive knockout percentage but has yet to shown his ability to perform in a hostile arena.
Flanagan runs the risk of piling too much pressure on himself but seems to revel amidst the well wishes of his people. The roar of the crowd will either make him fold or combust but judging from his comments he will be apt for the latter when the noise level rises.