WBO world lightweight champion Terry Flanagan is calling for a mouthwatering unification fight with WBA titlist Anthony Crolla to happen next.

Crolla defended his title in emphatic style at the weekend, knocking out unbeaten favourite Ismael Barroso in the seventh round of their enveloping contest at the Manchester Arena.

Crolla and Flanagan are from the same area of Manchester and even went to the same school – St Matthew’s in Moston – and Terry insists they must meet each other next.

“People are saying it’s got to happen. When are you ever going to get a unification fight between two lads from Manchester, from the same area who went to the same school? It’s got to happen,” he told Boxing News.

“I hope the fight does happen, for the public, because that’s what the people want to see.”

Flanagan, who was in the arena for Crolla’s fight with Barroso, spoke to his promoter Frank Warren afterwards to urge him to try and make the fight with Crolla’s promoter, Eddie Hearn.

Since then, Warren has issued a statement saying he would be happy for the fight to take place on Sky Sports  – with whom Hearn has an exclusive contract – rather than his own channel, BoxNation.

Although Crolla’s team have not yet responded – perhaps understandable, given Anthony only just fought – Crolla has openly said he would be happy to fight Flanagan in what would be a mammoth fight for the city.

“I spoke to Frank the day after and said ‘make the fight happen’ and he told me he’s trying and he’d make them another offer,” Flanagan continued.

“Then he released the statement saying it can go on Sky and they [Crolla’s team] still haven’t come back with anything, which just shows they don’t want it.

“I’d beat him, I’d beat [Jorge] Linares, I’d beat [Rances] Barthelemy, all of them. But the Crolla fight is the one people absolutely want to see and it’s the fight I want to give them.”

Flanagan last fought in March when he outpointed Liverpool’s Derry Mathews, and if the fight with Crolla can’t get made he revealed he could feature on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko at the Manchester Arena on July 9.

He said: “I’m ticking over at the moment. We’re pushing for that Crolla fight, I’m not sure it’ll happen but I should be out in July on the Fury-Klitschko show if not. Nothing’s set in stone for that yet, but I know I’ll be out around that time.”