Exclusive: Ashley Theophane sets sights on Terry Flanagan, open to UK return
Former world title challenger Ashley Theophane has informed WBN he’s aiming to build on recent exploits in Germany with a championship clash against Terry Flangan in the United Kingdom this summer.
Theophane headed over to Europe from his Las Vegas base as part of Floyd Mayweather’s ‘Money Team’ to retire Paata Varduashvili in seven rounds in Hangelsburg, completing a half-century of bouts in the professional ranks last December.
With a world title swansong on his mind, the Londoner will cast a roving eye on Terry Flanagan’s forthcoming vacant WBO super-lightweight battle with Maurice Hooker on April 24, with a view to taking on pre-fight favourite and fellow-countryman ‘Turbo’ in his first defence.
“Terry Flanagan for the WBO world championship is top of my list,” Theophane exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Hopefully, Mayweather Promotions and Frank Warren can make that happen. London, Liverpool or even Las Vegas sounds good to me.”
On fighting above 140 pounds of late, Theophane is adamant he remains a natural super-lightweight and facing Flanagan at that limit is at the forefront of his future plans.
“I’m a 140lbs fighter. No 140lbs fighter in the UK has accomplished more than me in their career hence the majority of them call my name when I haven’t even fought in the U.K. since 2012.
“I’ve another 16 months with Mayweather Promotions so my aim has always been the world championship. I’d like one fight in London to finish my career.
“I tried to get Ricky Burns whilst he was the WBA champion, so If Terry Flanagan wins the WBO in April, I’d love to fight him for it. That would be a fantastic match.
“Also, The WBO, WBC and WBA will all soon be at stake so obviously I’m interested in fighting the soon to be new champions. Whoever that may be. That’s who I’m targeting. “
On his German jaunt and how long he may carry on fighting for, the 37 year-old added: “I’ve boxed in Germany five times, I think so it was good to go back and get another win.
“They showed me love as the last I had fought there was 2010. I’ve gone on to be British champion, fight for the world title and sign with Floyd Mayweather, so they were proud of me. It was a great trip. Over the last five years or so I’ve been content to fight in the USA. I still am and I love fighting in Las Vegas.
“As an athlete, I need to be active so that was the reason for the fight as fighting every nine months when you’re in the gym every day is frustrating.
“Three fights per year is what I’m supposed to get with Mayweather Promotions, so hopefully this year I can be more active and get what’s in my contract.
“It feels good to be back in Vegas so I’d love a productive 2018,” stated Theophane.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay