Cromer boxing champion Liam Walsh lined up for a shot at Flanagan’s WBO crown
- Credit: PA
Norfolk's Liam Walsh is on the verge of achieving his dream and competing on the world stage.
The 29-year-old is being lined up by promoter Frank Warren for a Battle of Britain showdown with Terry Flanagan for his WBO world lightweight title.
Walsh is the reigning British super-featherweight champion, but has proven he can cut it at both weights – and is desperate for a second shot at the WBO strap, having been forced to pull out of his 2012 fight against Ricky Burns after suffering injuries in a car crash.
Now it looks like the dream is about to come true, after Flanagan defended his belt against Liverpool's Derry Matthews on Saturday.
'This is 100pc the fight that I'm after,' said the Cromer fighter. 'When I fought as chief support in Manchester for Terry's fight against Jose Zepeda I was under the impression that as long as we both won it was a given that we'd get it on. He was then forced to fight Diego Magdaleno as a mandatory and a fight between us wasn't possible. I understand the politics of the sport but it was disappointing.
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'For me Flanagan is one of the best, if not the, best lightweights in the world. It's an exciting fight and I'd get good props for taking him on. People would class me as an underdog in the fight which I've never been and I'd like to be.'
While local fans are hopeful of a big fight night in Norwich, it seems likely Walsh will have to travel into Flanagan's heartland of Manchester – most likely at the end of the year – where he would be the underdog, a role he is more than happy to accept.
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He said: 'It would probably be an away test up in Manchester which I'm happy with. I'm from Rochdale myself and it wouldn't feel too far away from home.
'No doubt I'd have tons come from Rochdale to support me and I'd obviously have the Farmy Army turn out in their hundreds like they always do so it wouldn't really feel like an away test.
'It's a fight I want because Flanagan is one of the best and I want to fight the best. It doesn't look like there's much floating around in the super-featherweight division at the moment.
'The opportunities look limited at the minute and I can hold my own at super-featherweight or lightweight so it's a fight that makes sense.'