Manchester’s Terry ‘Turbo’ Flanagan had to dig deep in his toughest fight to date to overcome a game challenge for his English super-featherweight title against an inspired Troy James at Bowlers arena in Trafford Park on Saturday night.
Flanagan, 23, was making the first defence of the belt he claimed in May against Dougie Curran and in response to this hard fight, he produced his best performance to date and answered some questions with regards to his durability and determination to tough it out, when the going gets tough.
‘Turbo’ dominated the opening rounds from behind his southpaw jab and it looked like James was out of his depth, as he was constantly caught coming in by Flanagan, who was timing his shots and always out of range when the Coventry challenger lunged in.
James was conceding height and lots of reach and needed a change in tactics if he was going to have any success and a chance of pulling off the win, before an engrossed noisy crowd that threatened to blow the Bowlers roof off with their shouts and screams.
In the third round, James was trying his best to draw Flanagan into a scrap, but he was open coming in and walked onto a big right hook from the champion that shook him to his boots. Flanagan went in for the stoppage and had his man in trouble, but James survived the onslaught that followed and saw the round out fighting back.
Flanagan was back behind his jab and trying to dictate the action again on his terms. But James, after drawing his foe into another exchange and with his back to the ropes caught Flanagan with a big right hand that James looked like he’d loaded up in the Midlands! – It crashed off Flanagan’s jaw, his legs buckled and the champion went into survival mode on the ropes with his arms tight around his head, shipping every shot in the book as James went in for the stoppage, and the way Flanagan wasn’t fighting back it was looking like he might get it.
But Troy James can drive back up the M6 proud of his efforts against a determined champion who had to be at his very best to retain his belt and take his unbeaten record to 15-0, 4 KOs.
The judges scores were unanimous all in favour of Flanagan 99-92, 99-93, 98-94
Flanagan will now take a take a short rest and get back in the gym soon with a possible British title shot not too far away, but will be back in the gym soon, ready to push on as he seeks a shot at the British title.
The Prizefighter the Lightweights II is coming up at Liverpool’s Olympia on October 6 and with Kieran Farrell recently pulling out of the tournament, maybe Flanagan would fancy his chances in that? Whatever the next step is for Turbo, he’s proved he will be a force to be reckoned with on the British scene for anyone.