WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan beats Petr Petrov
WBO world lightweight champion Terry Flanagan is eyeing "the biggest fights" after a fifth successful defence against Petr Petrov.
Flanagan advanced to 33-0 after he beat his durable Russian-born challenger via a unanimous points decision in front of his hometown fans at Manchester Arena.
The judges scored the contest 116-112, 120-108 and 118-110.
"There's no point in saying I'm the best if I'm not fighting the best," Flanagan said.
"I only want to fight the best. I hope I now get the recognition I deserve. It was a comfortable win against a world level opponent."
Petrov, who has only lost five of 47 professional contests, lacked the power to cause Flanagan any true concerns.
As a result, 'Turbo' Flanagan was content to utilise his superior reach and speed work behind his jab.
He racked up the rounds, especially in the middle sessions, but the fight simmered rather than sizzled, never truly reaching boiling point.
Flanagan, 27, always looked the more aggressive and certainly the busier fighter, but as the contest wore on he began loading up looking for the big shots and did so with limited success until the 11th, when he opened a big gash around Petrov's right eye.
Petrov impressed, if largely in silencing the Manchester crowd and slipping many attempted body shots.
The attention will now turn to bigger nights ahead for Flanagan as he looks to grow his reputation in a weight class stacked with elite fighters.
Vasyl Lomachenko - Ukraine's superstar two-weight world champion - could look to campaign for a third world title in the lightweight class and is an option, as is Jorge Linares, the Venezuelan responsible for dethroning Flanagan's fellow Mancunian Anthony Crolla.
Crolla, a schoolmate of Flanagan's, is said to be targeting a showdown that would captivate Manchester at the very least, but promoter Frank Warren says his man will target either Lomachenko or Linares.