Notes: Flanagan wants Crolla lightweight title turf battle

Lightweight titleholder Terry Flanagan will defend his belt against Mzonke Fana, but wants a unification fight with countryman Anthony Crollla after that. Dave Thompson/Getty Images

A few notes from around the boxing world:

  • Two of boxing’s lightweight world titleholders, Terry Flanagan (30-0, 12 KOs) and Anthony Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs), are both from Manchester, England, and a unification fight between them is an obvious match and would certainly be a big deal. But the fight does not look like it will happen, at least not right away.Flanagan is scheduled to defend against long-faded Mzonke Fana, of South Africa, on July 9 on the Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko II undercard at Manchester Arena and Crolla’s next defenses, announced on Tuesday, will come against former titleholder Jorge Linares on Sept. 24. Flanagan claims he is frustrated by Crolla’s supposed unwillingness to fight him.

    “They don't want the fight. It's as simple as that,” Flanagan said. “It's an easy fight to make. (Promoter) Frank (Warren) isn't making it hard for them. He's not being difficult. If anything, he's bending over backwards to make it happen. He's giving into their demands. He has put the ball in their court and said they can have it on (Crolla network) Sky Sports. But still they don't want it.

    “I've just got to concentrate on my own boxing, keep winning and hopefully people will continue talking about the fight and the Crolla team will do the right thing. If we both keep winning, it might happen down the line, but I'm not confident it will. It's probably the people around him who are worried about the fight, but it's still Crolla's decision at the end of the day. He's the fighter. If he wants the fight, he should go to his coach (Joe Gallagher) or his promoter (Eddie Hearn) and say he wants the fight. They can't argue with him. All he has got to do is say, 'Make the fight happen.' But he doesn't seem to be doing that.”

  • Initially, junior welterweights Lenny Zappavigna, 28, of Australia and IK Yank, 31, of China, were going to meet in a 10-round bout on the non-televised undercard of the Terence Crawford-Viktor Postol junior welterweight title unification fight, which headlines an HBO PPV card July 23 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. While Zappavigna (34-2, 24 KOs), a former lightweight title challenger, and Yang (19-1, 14 KOs), a former junior welterweight title challenger, will still fight on the card, the bout has been upgraded and will be a 12-round world title elimination bout that will make the winner No. 2 in the IBF rankings and a step closer to a world title shot against Eduard Troyanovsky (24-0, 21 KOs) 36, of Russia.

  • Junior flyweight titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11 KOs), 29, of Japan, has been ordered to make a mandatory defense against former strawweight titleholder Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15 KOs), 27, also of Japan. If the sides do not make a deal by July 7 the fight will be offered at a purse bid. Taguchi will be making his fourth title defense. Miyazaki has won four fights in a row.