WHEREAS, on July 11, 2015 WBO #1 contender Terry Flanagan of the United Kingdom faced WBO #2 contender José Zepeda of California, United States for the vacant WBO Lightweight Championship of the World, in a bout held at the Velodrome in Manchester, U.K.; and,

WHEREAS, Zepeda suffered a dislocated left shoulder and remained on his stool at the end of the 2nd round, with Referee Marcus McDonnell waving the bout off after speaking with Zepeda’s corner team, and confirming with both the fighter and the ringside physician that the fight could not continue; and,

WHEREAS, Flanagan was deemed the winner of the contest via TKO in round 2 and was awarded the WBO Lightweight Championship of the World; and,

WHEREAS, on July 21, 2015 Mr. Robb M. Hernández, manager of José Zepeda, filed a petition with this WBO World Championship Committee, in essence requesting that we order an immediate “mandatory rematch” and alluding to Zepeda’s performance and the judges’ scoring up until the stoppage of the bout; and,

WHEREAS, Mr. Fernando Beltrán of Promociones Zanfer, Zepeda’s promoter, filed a similar request to this Committee, highlighting the “unfortunate outcome of the fight following the dislocation of Zepeda’s shoulder in the second round of the fight” and considering his fighter “worthy of a new opportunity to face Terry Flanagan in a mandatory rematch, given that the injury prevented Zepeda from continuing and proving that he can be a great WBO Champion;” and,

WHEREAS, all interested WBO participants were given notice of this Petition and allowed reasonable opportunity to express their views and submit any document or otherwise present any argument they believed would help the Committee resolve this Petition; and,

WHEREAS, the WBO World Championship Committee commissioned a five-member, highly qualified and internationally recognized, confidential judging panel to conduct a in-depth analysis of the fight, with particular emphasis on round 2; and,

WHEREAS, this judging panel saw no irregularity or misapplication of the rules, as Section 26 (b) (11) of our WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests (incorporating by reference the Uniform rules of the Association of Boxing Commissioners) is clear insofar that “[i]f a boxer sustains an injury from a fair blow and the injury is severe enough to terminate the bout, the injured boxer shall lose by TKO” (Emphasis added); and,

WHEREAS, Section 18 of the aforementioned Regulations (on Return Fights) states that “[t]he WBO shall not allow direct return fights, unless recommended by the World Championship Committee and authorized by the Executive Committee. A direct return fight is a fight between the new Champion and the former Champion from whom the new Champion won the title (or between a new Champion and the losing Contestant in a Vacant Title Fight), before the new Champion defends his title against any of the other fighters classified in his category. If the World Championship Committee determines either that the resolution of a Championship Contest was substantially irregular, or that there was a clear misapplication of the rules of boxing resulting in a manifest unfairness, such that in either case the World Championship Committee determines that the Championship was substantially unresolved, the World Championship Committee may, in its discretion, recommend a direct return fight, which may be authorized only by the majority vote of the Executive Committee […];” and,

WHEREAS, this WBO World Championship Committee sanctioned the WBO Vacant Lightweight Championship bout between Terry Flanagan and José Zepeda on June 22, 2015, provided that the winner face the WBO Mandatory Challenger within 120 days of the bout.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the WBO World Championship Committee that given all of the above we do not find the resolution of this Championship Contest “substantially irregular,’ [or] “that there was a clear misapplication of the rules of boxing resulting in a manifest unfairness” and that it hereby denies this petition for an immediate or “return” rematch, per the WBO World Championship Rules.

This is a final decision of the WBO World Championship Committee. The affected WBO Participant may appeal to the Complaint and Grievance Committee, pursuant to WBO World Championship Section 34, which as per Rule 3(e) of the WBO Appeals Regulation, must be submitted in writing to the WBO President within fourteen (14) days of the date of this decision as its sole and exclusive remedy.

Dated in San Juan, Puerto Rico on this 5th day of August, 2015

Luis Batista-Salas, Chairman

cc Francisco Valcárcel, Esq., István Kovacs, Frank Warren Robert Smith

hi-res-cfa61f855d151a852b4b2cf3e0a84f96_crop_north   By Rob Lancaster –


A decade on from witnessing fellow Mancunian Ricky Hatton defeat Kostya Tszyu, Terry Flanagan enjoyed his own coronation on home turf on Saturday.

Flanagan claimed the vacant WBO lightweight title at the Velodrome in Manchester. It wasn’t quite in the style he would have wanted, though, as opponent Jose Zepeda was forced to stay on his stool after the second round because of injury.

Despite the best efforts of his corner to pop it back in, a dislocated shoulder forced the Californian to pull out.

It was a disappointing finish to an intriguing fight, and because of the problem occurring when the visiting fighter was attempting to throw a punch, Flanagan was handed the win.

Turbo became the first Englishman to hold a full world title at 135 pounds, per James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, though Derry Mathews is the interim WBA champion.

In a division where Britain is blessed with so many good fighters, Flanagan emerged out of the shadows to make history. And in his own backyard, too.

He also followed in the footsteps of his hero Hatton, who became world champion at the MEN Arena by beating Tszyu back in June 2005.

A teenager at the time, Flanagan was there to see the drama unfold that night, even though he didn’t have a ticket. He explained to Gareth A Davies of the Telegraph how he managed to get up close to see his hero in action:

“It’s a lot of luck getting in somewhere free of charge. I just ran past security and ended up going round the other side and down the stairs pretending I had a ticket.

Date:  July 11, 2015

Title:  Vacant WBO Lightweight Championship title Bout

Location: Velodrome, Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Promoter: Queensberry Promotions/Frank Warren

Supervisor:  Istvan Kovacs

Referee:  Marcus McDonnell

Judges:   Ramon Cerdan, Zoltan Enyedi, Carlos Ortiz Nieves

Result:   Terry Flanagan won the WBO Lightweight Championship Title by TKO in the second round.  Zepeda suffered a dislocated right shoulder and remained on his stool at the end of the 2nd round, referee McDonnell waved the bout off after speaking with Zepeda’s corner team.


Manager Steve Wood is confident Terry Flanagan will beat Jose Zepeda to the WBO world title on Saturday and go on to prove he’s the best of a packed British lightweight scene.

Londoner Kevin Mitchell recently came agonisingly close to dethroning WBC champion Jorge Linares, Liverpool’s Derry Mathews is currently the WBA interim champion and Flanagan’s fellow Mancunian Anthony Crolla meets WBA champion Darleys Perez on July 18.

But as Flanagan prepares to put his unblemished 27-0-0-KO10 record on the line in front of his home fans at Manchester’s Velodrome, Wood believes the 26-year-old southpaw can emerge victorious and progress to unifying the division against domestic rivals.

Wood said: “In the lightweight division, we’ve just had Mitchell fighting for a world title and we’ve got Derry Mathews as an interim, Anthony Crolla fighting too. If you look at their opponents, if we’d had to pick then we wouldn’t have picked this. I think we’ve got the hardest fight.

“Hopefully Crolla can win and then with Mathews, we can put them all together if Terry wins. I’m more than confident that Terry is the best lightweight in the UK at the moment. If he wins this and can start unifying against domestic opponents, they’d be big sellers.

terry-flanagan-boxing-lightweight_3322899 If he wins this and can start unifying against domestic opponents, they’d be big sellers.

Steve Wood

“I wish we were fighting Crolla or Mathews this week, then I wouldn’t be as nervous as I am now!”

On the hometown advantage, Wood said: “I’m confident that Terry will respond to the crowd in the right way. He’s sold 1,000 tickets himself and they’re all local. They’ll be walking out of the pubs and going over there so the atmosphere is going to be electric.

“Terry will respond to it and Zepeda has never fought away from home so hopefully it will pick Terry up and have a negative effect on Zepeda.

“We could have gone to America for a lot more money than we’re taking in the UK so it shows we wanted this fight at home. The crowd can be the difference between winning and losing and I’m sure the crowd will raise Terry’s game.

“Terry is a level-headed kid and he won’t get carried away. It’ll lift him but it won’t affect what he’s going to do.”

Zepeda is also unbeaten with a 23-0-0-KO20 slate and has caused a stir in America with some emphatic knockouts, stopping his last four opponents inside three rounds.

“Zepeda is an unknown quantity,” said Wood. “We’ve seen he can box and move. He doesn’t just throw haymakers – he can be subtle and he sets up his work. He’s no mug or just a kid who throws big punches.


Ricky Hatton puts Flanagan through his paces

“We’re confident in everything we’ve done. We’ve done it right and it’ll be the best Terry Flanagan that’s ready.

“We don’t know much about Zepeda apart from the fact he’s a big puncher. He’s never made the weight before so we’re not sure if he’ll be comfortable – especially in the later rounds. He’s had 20 knockouts but we don’t know about the quality of the opposition.

“Is it going to be another Jeff Lacy? An American superstar coming across here who’s not as good as he thinks. Joe Calzaghe, a southpaw, gave him a boxing lesson. We’re hoping Terry can do the same.

“We’re going to see what Zepeda is like. He might need to be pushed back but we’re going to adapt to the situation because he can box as well as punch. We’ll either go with plan A or plan B.”


hi-res-7edbf2a83ac4de104f4dfa9acbca0c3a_crop_north  By:  Rob Lancaster –

Terry Flanagan gets the chance to become Britain’s latest world champion when he faces fellow unbeaten fighter Jose Zepeda at the Velodrome in Manchester, England.

The vacant WBO lightweight title will be on the line in the main event of a card that also includes the return of Paul Butler, who will be back in action for the first time since losing to Zolani Tete in March.

Also on the bill, Liam Walsh will be looking to protect his unbeaten record when he takes on Brazilian Isaias Santos Sampaio.

When: Saturday, July 11, 10 p.m. BST

Where: Velodrome, Manchester, England

TV: BoxNation (UK)

Live Stream: BoxNation (UK, regional restrictions apply)


Terry Flanagan (left) and Ricky Hatton are both Manchester City supporters

Flanagan—who has a 27-0 (10 KOs) record—has won the British and European titles at lightweight, but this next fight is a step up to a new level.

He is hoping to follow in some famous footsteps when he goes up against the heavy-handed Zepeda.

The 26-year-old is aiming to match the efforts of another Mancunian boxer, Ricky Hatton, in becoming a world champion—and the Hitmansees a few similarities in the duo, per David Anderson of the Mirror:

“I see a bit of myself in him. He’s a Manchester lad, no airs and graces. He’s a big Manchester City fan, too.

We’re very proud of where we come from, Mancunians, as I’m sure everyone is from all over the country.

He’s just a local lad done well, no different to me. If he wins the world title, he’s one of those people who won’t let it go to his head.”

Hatton was crowned in his home city back in 2005, beating Kostya Tszyu to claim the IBF light welterweight belt.

Flanagan will want the Manchester crowd to roar him to victory, too.

He is ranked by BoxRec as the top lightweight in the United Kingdom, and has the chance to show just why he’s above Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, Ricky Burns and Derry Mathews in the standings.


Zepeda‘s record shows he is a fighter that doesn’t like to hang around for too long in the ring.

The Californian—nicknamed Chon—has won 20 of his 23 fights by knockout, with eight of his last nine victories coming inside three rounds.

However, the 26-year-old has never been beyond eight rounds as a pro. While they are the same age, Flanagan has boxed twice as many rounds (130 v 64) as his next opponent.

Zepeda, though, told BoxNation that his trainer, Robert Alcazar—who used to work with Oscar De La Hoya—has prepared him to go the full 12 rounds, if necessary:

“Since starting together in four rounds fights, Robert really knows his game, he’s been in the big league and we’re always ready for twelve rounds. Knockout or distance we’re prepared to win the fight.

Robert and I have been together for five years and we’ve got a good relationship. He’s showing me a lot and he’s been in with the big league, not just with Oscar, but with Edwin Valero and many more.

We started together and now five years on we’re unbeaten. He made me the fighter I am now.”

Alcazar‘s knowledge and experience could be crucial for Zepeda, who is dropping down from 140 pounds for the fight in England.


This is an intriguing bout—Flanagan has a better pedigree, but Zepeda has demonstrated the power he possesses.

The key to the outcome could be home advantage, particularly as Zepeda has never fought outside of Mexico or the United States before.

The crowd at the Velodrome can make a real difference in the outcome and, if he can avoid being dropped in the early stages, Flanagan can take the title in the closing rounds.




Unbeaten American Jose Zepeda will travel to Manchester, England, in pursuit of the vacant WBO lightweight title and the 26-year-old knockout artist promises that neither his opponent, Terry Flanagan, nor a hostile British crowd will stand in his way on July 11.

Zepeda (23-0, 20 knockouts) is adding the finishing touches to his preparation for the biggest fight of his career to date and is acutely aware of the challenge posed by Flanagan, a southpaw stylist who is also unbeaten at 27-0 (10 knockouts).

“Flanagan is a great fighter with a good record and he’s doing something right,” said Zepeda in a press release issued by Queensberry Promotions. “I also believe that I’m a great fighter and my record says it. I think this will be a fantastic fight and, knockout or distance, we’re prepared to win.

“When I go into a fight I never think about a knockout, it comes by itself. We will see what happens on July 11.

Robert Alcazar, a former trainer of six-weight world titleholder Oscar De La Hoya, will be in Zepeda’s corner and the unbeaten knockout artist credits his esteemed coach with the success he’s had during the early stages of his career.

“Robert and I have a good relationship,” Zepeda said. “He’s showing me a lot and he’s been in the big league, not just with Oscar, but with Edwin Valero and many more. We started together and five years on we’re still unbeaten. He made me the fighter I am now.

“We’ve been sparring hard for thirteen and fourteen rounds because when we go more than twelve we know we’re ready. I haven’t really seen much of Flanagan, I leave that to Robert.”

Manchester, Flanagan’s home city, is a boxing hot bed and visitors are rarely greeted warmly but Zepeda is retaining a calm demeanor ahead of the voyage.

He said, “I’ve only fought in Mexico and the U.S. so coming to England is something new for me. My promoter told me there was a chance that we would be going abroad but I’m strong and I’m prepared. I’m just going over there to do my job.”