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Flanagan Dismisses Mathews Claims Of Feigning Injury

By Terence Dooley

The news that Terry Flanagan (29-0, 12 early) has had severe tendinitis in his left foot and has been forced to move his WBO lightweight title defence against Derry Mathews (38-9-2, 20 KOs) back a month was met with scepticism by his Liverpool-based challenger.

Mathews told Elliot Foster of BoxingScene that the 26-year-old has bought himself extra time by postponing the fight as he knows he is in “deep water”. Flanagan, though, insists that he has made the right decision for both himself and fight fans, telling BoxingScene that he wanted to make sure he is 100% come the night.

“We had to, really, as I haven’t been able to train properly since last week, but I reckon this gives me time to make sure it’s OK,” he said when asked if he has made the right decision. “I am fit, I just wasn’t able to maintain it in those last hard weeks because of the injury. With the right physio I should be back in training on Monday.”

Mathews suggested that the Mancunian is tight at the weight, too, and needs the extra time to chisel away the pounds, a claim that Flanagan vigorously denied. “Not at all, the scan results prove it and we have no need to lie,” he stated.

“I make sure I am always fully ready for a fight and always make sure I can do what I want to do. I wanted to fight, but [trainer] Stephen [Maylett] said we should postpone it as I’m the champion—Derry wants what I already have. I decide when we fight, not him. Derry won’t get in my head, I’m a level above him and will show my class on fight night.”

The bout was due to take place on February 13 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, it will now take place on March 12 at the same venue and will be shown live on BoxNation here in the U.K.

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