Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

TOWNSVILLE’S Mark Flana­gan didn’t know it at the time, but sit­ting in the crowd at his WBA cruis­er­weight world ti­tle fight was Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

Flana­gan ( pic­tured) fought reign­ing ti­tle­holder De­nis Lebe­dev in the Rus­sian city of Yeka­ter­in­burg on Mon­day morn­ing Aus­tralian time, and as it turns out Putin was in the city at the same time for the eighth In­ter­na­tional In­dus­trial Trade Fair.

Well known for his love of com­bat sports, Putin clearly made the most of the for­tu­nate tim­ing to sup­port Lebe­dev, a staunch Rus­sian pa­triot and mas­sive fan of the coun­try’s supreme leader.

No mat­ter how the rest of Flana­gan’s box­ing ca­reer un­folds, it’s fair to say he’ll al­ways have one amaz­ing story to tell.

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