WBO World Lightweight champion Terry Flanagan has spoken out after being forced to delay his world title defence against Liverpool’s Derry Mathews by a month to March 12.
Flanagan, 26, suffered severe tendonitis in his left foot that has left him unable to train ahead of the mouth-watering showdown at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
Rival Mathews took to Twitter after the postponement was announced and accused the unbeaten southpaw of feigning injury in an attempt to unsettle him. However, Flanagan has hit back at the Liverpudlian by announcing he has the doctor’s scans to prove the injury is genuine.
“As a champion I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, you’ll see on the night who the real champion is and that’s me. Let him mouth off on Twitter, I don’t get involved in all that rubbish. I’m going to get my head down to make sure I’m fully prepared for making a successful defence of my title and shut Mathews up for good,” said the Mancunian.
“Turbo” reiterated that he has never had to postpone a fight due to an injury and has promised to left his fists do that talking come fight night. The tough as nails Manc is renowned for his all-action relentless punching style and admits he is gutted about the postponement.
He said: “Having to pull out of a fight for the first time in my career has done my head in; it’s not in my fighters make up and all my fans know that. I’ve gone into fights with injuries before but my trainer Steve Maylett said there’s no way he’s sending me into the ring with an injury; we don’t want to give Derry even half a chance,”
Flanagan, who is undefeated in all 29 of his professional fights, will be cutting no corners in his recovery.
He said: “At first I felt a bit of a niggle and thought nothing of it and decided to train through it. You have to train hard for a world title fight and eventually it just gave way. I’ve had a week off now and I’m hoping to be back in full training in the next couple of weeks. I’ve swam pretty much every day since the injury to keep my fitness up and I’ve been doing some light strength work which won’t aggravate the injury.”
Ticket for ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ are priced at £40, £60, £80, £100, £150* and are available from:
0844 249 1000