Lightweight contender Petr Petrov to face Liam Walsh in eliminator

Lightweight contender Petr Petrov, who won ESPN's 2014 Boxcino tournament, will face Liam Walsh in a world title eliminator on Oct. 10 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Petrov promoter Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions announced Thursday.

The Petrov-Walsh winner will become the mandatory challenger for the winner of the main event of the card, which pits lightweight titleholder Terry Flanagan (28-0, 11 KOs) against current mandatory challenger Diego Magdaleno (28-1, 12 KOs).

"This is a great opportunity to fight in a WBO final eliminator," Petrov said. "This brings me closer to a world title, which has been a lifelong dream of mine. It's been a long road for me to get to this position, and I want to make my family and friends proud. I want to thank Artie Pelullo for believing in me and for getting me the chance. I won't disappoint."

Petrov (36-4-2, 17 KOs), 32, was born in Russia and lives in Spain. He has won four fights in a row, including all three of his bouts in last year's 135-pound ESPN Boxcino tournament. He outpointed then-undefeated Fedor Papazov in a six-round bout in the quarterfinals, knocked out Chris Rudd in the fourth round of the semifinals and then knocked out Fernando Carcamo in the eighth round of the finals.

After an 11-month layoff, Petrov returned on April 3 and won a lopsided 10-round decision against former world titleholder Gamaliel Diaz.

Petrov, who traveled to Argentina in 2011 to fight hometown hero Marcos Maidana for his junior welterweight world title and was knocked out in the fourth round, said he has no problem going to Walsh's home country for the fight.

"Fighting Liam Walsh on his home turf will be tough, but at this point in my career there is no cutting corners," Petrov said. "Walsh is in my way, and I must beat him to achieve my goals. He is a young, strong fighter, but he has never seen anybody like me inside the ring."

Walsh (19-0, 13 KOs), 29, a southpaw from England, the reigning British and Commonwealth champion, is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Isaias Santos Sampaio on July 11 in Manchester, England.

Pelullo, creator of the Boxcino tournament, said Petrov's inclusion in a world title eliminator is a testament to what winning the tournament can do for a fighter's career.

"This is another case of Boxcino being the springboard to a huge opportunity," Pelullo said. "Petr has earned this opportunity and we believe that he will win this fight and fight the winner of the main event between Flanagan and Magdaleno."

Another of the fighters Pelullo promotes, junior middleweight John Thompson (17-1, 6 KOs), won the 2015 Boxcino tournament in May and parlayed the victory into a fight against Liam Smith (20-0-1, 10 KOs) for a vacant world title on the same Oct. 10 card as Flanagan-Magdaleno and Petrov-Walsh.