Crolla KOs Perez, wins WBA lightweight title

British challenger Anthony Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) got one of his rare knockouts tonight when he stopped WBA World lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-2-1, 20 KOs) in the 5th round in their rematch in the 28-year-old Crolla’s own hometown at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Crolla landed a perfectly placed left hook to the midsection of the 32-year-old Perez to put him down. The referee Terry O’Connor then counted Perez out at 2:30 of the 5th.

Charlo doubleheader predictions for Saturday's PPV card on Showtime

Perez and Crolla both exchanged power shots for the first four rounds of the fight with Crolla getting the better of him. Perez was landing with a lot of power, but Crolla was unloading on him with nonstop jabs and power shots.

Crolla wasn’t giving Perez a chance to breath from the pressure and high work rate. Perez appeared to lose his composure in the 4th round with all the shots he was getting hit with. He started getting wild his shots, and not placing them like he’d done in the first three rounds.

Last July, Perez and Crolla fought to a controversial 12 round draw in Manchester. Crolla’s promoter Eddie Hearn appealed the verdict to the World Boxing Association, and they ordered a rematch.

After tonight’s fight, Hearn was beaming over the win. He says he wants to have Crolla take place in a mega-fight. Crolla spoke of being open for a unification fight against WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan. That fight would require for Hearn to work with Flanagan’s promoter to set the fight up. With Flanagan’s punching power and size, you’d have to favor him over Crolla right now.