By Steve Kim
While Terry Flanagan was a belt-holder at lightweight and is undefeated(with a record with (33-0, 13 KO's), Vince Parra, the trainer of Maurice Hooker - who faces 'Turbo' on Saturday afternoon at the Manchester Arena for the vacant WBO 140-pound title - is skeptical of Flanagan and his championship pedigree.
Parra told BoxingScene.com - "Let's be honest, there's not one of those fighters with those title defenses he's had over there that would've ever been put on TV in the United States by any network. I mean, c'mon, Orlando Cruz, a 50-year old Mzonke Fana.
"Look, I give the guy all the credit in the world, he's a tough competitor, a great athlete but styles make fights and when they came up with this and they're doing everything based on the Darleys Perez fight."
What Parra is referring to is his own fighters struggles against Perez back in November of 2016, where he was fortunate to walk away with a draw.
He said of Flanagan, "the guy's run away from everybody from Mikey Garcia to Jorge Linares and I look at styles making fights and I know this style very well and I've seen Maurice with the same style and we have to totally take over this guy.
"To me, this best thing Terry Flanagan has going for him is one, I'm sure he has a tremendous heart and two, the fights in England. Outside of that, my guy fights his fight, we're the big puncher, we have nine first round knockouts. Nobody wanted to fight us before the Darleys Perez fight."
And because of how vulnerable Hooker looked on that night, Parra believes this is why Frank Warren accepted this fight for Flanagan."So to me, that was just a bait-and--switch, it happened and they took the fight with us and it didn't matter where it was. I just know this is a fight my guy wins."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.