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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Champ Flanagan can retain world title with win over Petrov

But a stoppage looks unlikely

Terry Flanagan in action against Mzonke Fana
1 of 1

Flanagan v Petrov
Smith v Williams
BoxNation, 8pm
Lomachenko v Sosa
BoxNation, 3am

There's some great action on BoxNation Saturday night, with a domestic dust-up between Liam Smith and Liam Williams supporting Terry Flanagan's defence of his WBO world lightweight title at Manchester Arena, before Vasyl Lomachenko - many experts' choice as the world's best fighter - puts his WBO world super-featherweight belt on the line in America. 

Flanagan has established himself as one of the UK's best fighters over the last couple of years.

Since winning a world title in 2015, Turbo Terry has made four defences including impressive wins over Diego Magdaleno and Derry Mathews, and he destroyed Orlando Cruz in eight rounds in his last contest in November. 

Undefeated Flanagan is targeting some huge fights in the near future, but while he should get the better of opponent Petr Petrov, the Russian challenger is unlikely to be easy to brush aside and this fight could be set for the duration.

Petrov has four defeats on his record, but he has been stopped only once in 44 fights and that was against formidable Argentinian power-puncher Marcos Maidana. 

While Flanagan's power is respectable it is not in the same league as Maidana's, and it is a bit of a surprise that a Flanagan stoppage win is considered the likeliest outcome by most firms. 

Take a bigger price and back him to win on the scorecards. 

'Fifty-fifty fights' is an expression often heard in boxing, but such claims often don't translate to betting markets. However, that is not the case between Smith and Williams which bookies rate as a genuine pick-’em fight.

The pair clash for the interim WBO world super-welterweight title, and while Smith cannot reclaim the belt even if he defeats Williams – he failed to make the 11-stone limit at the weigh-in – he could still have his hand raised.

Welshman Williams should not be underestimated, but Scouser Smith has the greater experience and should be backed to win.

Former world champ Smith lost his WBO super-welterweight title to Mexican icon Canelo Alvarez in September, but he was a huge underdog in that fight and despite being stopped he can take plenty of positives from the experience. 

Williams brings plenty to the table, but at the prices Smith has to be fancied to get the victory.

Later in Maryland, Lomachenko gets the chance to showcase his skills against Jason Sosa.

It seems incredible that Lomachenko can be considered the best on the planet as he has had just eight professional contests. He is a double Olympic champion, but rather than the usual laborious journey up the paid ranks he went straight in at the top, fighting for a world title in only his second fight. 

His footwork is outstanding, and the way he toyed with Nicholas Walters in his last fight left nobody in any doubt that he is the real deal. 

Sosa is a quality opponent, but unless Lomachenko has an off night it is hard to see him troubling the Ukrainian. 

Back Lomachenko to get the stoppage in rounds seven to 12. 

Recommendations
T Flanagan on points
2pts 6-4 general
L Smith 
2pts 21-20 188Bet
V Lomachenko to win in rounds 7-12
2pts 15-8 Betfair, Paddy Power, SkyBet

Petrov has four defeats on his record, but he has only been stopped once in 44 fights - and that was against formidable power-puncher Marcos Maidana
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