Lightweight champion Terry Flanagan is hoping to land a massive unification with Mikey Garcia in 2017 ahead of the Manchester man facing Petr Petrov in the fifth defence of his belt.
The 27 year-old, who defeated Orlando Cruz last time out in November, has long been linked to a potential all-UK blockbuster with Anthony Crolla but sees Garcia as a new target following the Mexican-American’s demolition job on Dejan Zlaticanin.
Garcia, 36-0 with 30 KO’s, blasted the Montenegrin out in three rounds to become three-weight world title holder, although Flanagan wasn’t too impressed with the class of opposition.
“I think he looked good but Zlaticanin was made for him. He took him out in three rounds, but I think I’d have broken him up and done the same to him. I saw Zlaticanin as the weakest of all the champions going into that fight,” Flanagan exclusively told World Boxing News.
The WBC have already ordered Garcia to battle the winner of Linares v Crolla II taking place at the end of March, something Flanagan is interested in keeping an eye on for his own future down the line.
“Should Linares beat Crolla, I see Garcia beating him – to be fair. I’m not too sure whether I’d be able to jump in to take one of those before they face each other, so we’ll see what happens after this one.
“I think Garcia is the next best in the division and he’ll knock Linares out. We’ve all seen that Linares is vulnerable in fights before the Crolla fight. He’s had a lot of tough fights, so I think he’s coming to an end now.
“Hopefully, I can get those big fights this year,” he added.
Flanagan’s fight with Petrov takes place at Manchester Arena on April 8, headlining a massive bill featuring Liam Smith’s super-welterweight bout with Liam Williams.