Anthony Crolla will make an emotional return to the ring when he challenges WBA World Lightweight champion Darleys Perez at the Manchester Arena on July 18, on a huge night of boxing live on Sky Sports.
The Manchester man has been given the all-clear to box again by doctors following the horrific attack he suffered when bravely tackling burglars that attempted to break into his neighbour’s house in December. Crolla suffered a fractured skull when he was struck over the head by a concrete slab and broke his ankle in the attack that cruelly robbed him of the chance to face Richar Abril for the World title in January.
Crolla’s road to rehabilitation has been a gruelling one but the reward for his hard work is a shot at Perez, the Columbian champion who landed the interim crown in June against Argenis Lopez in the Dominican Republic and successfully defended it in October by stopping Jaider Parra in Columbia and in January with a wide points triumph over Jonathan Maicelo in California, and he was then elevated to full champion.
Crolla will be eager to return to the run of form that saw him land a shot at Abril, with a trio of impressive wins at the Manchester Arena over domestic foes Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster Jr. and John Murray – and the 28 year old is thrilled to be straight back into action in the biggest fight of his life.
“It’s amazing to be back in the ring and fighting for my first World title,” said Crolla. “Lying in my hospital bed after the attack, I didn’t know what the future held, I was just lucky to be alive, but I have worked so hard and had so much support that I have to win that World title on July 18.
“Perez is a great fighter and I know I am going to have to be at my very best to beat him, but with everything that has happened, it feels like I am destined to win the belt and I will be busting a gut in the gym to be in the best shape I have even been in on the night to get that belt.”
“Anthony Crolla is a tough boxer, but I know I have what it takes to beat him in style,” said Perez. “I’ve been staying busy since my last win in January. My plan is to travel to England and gain new fans with a devastating victory over their hometown favourite.”
“This has been a rollercoaster six months for Anthony,” said Hearn. “First he received the dream news that he would challenge Richard Abril for the WBA World title and then just weeks later his World came crashing down when he suffered life-threatening injuries after trying to apprehend burglars from his neighbour’s property. When we got the news of Anthony’s injuries it was touch and go whether he would fight again.
“He has shown remarkable strength and bravery and I promised him I would deliver him a shot at the World title in his return. On July 18 Anthony will face the talented Darleys Perez for the WBA World title in front of his own people; people that should be so proud to call him their own. I hope the city gets behind this hero and we can get him over the line to become champion of the world.”
Crolla joins stablemate and fellow Joe Gallagher gym-pal Scott Quigg in a World title action as Quigg defends his WBA Super Bantamweight title against former World champion Kiko Martinez, and Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE fights in Manchester for the second time in the paid ranks.
Hearn announced today that Sam Eggington and Glenn Foot will clash for the vacant British Welterweight title, a second fight on the bill for the Lonsdale belt with Chris Jenkins and Tyrone Nurse meeting for the vacant Light Welterweight strap.
Tickets are already on sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members from midday today (Tuesday May 12), priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150 and £300 VIP from www.matchroomboxing.com
Tickets are on general sale 1pm today (May 13), priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 through www.manchester-arena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIP’s are available exclusively through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £300.
QUIGG DEFENDS WBA BELT AGAINST MARTINEZ
Scott Quigg will defend his WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez at the Manchester Arena on July 18, live on Sky Sports.
Quigg makes the fifth defence of his crown having blasted away his first three challengers in devastating fashion before tough Japanese visitor Hidenori Otake bravely took him the distance in Liverpool in November, with Quigg securing a wide points decision.
The Bury star now faces the sternest test of his reign in the shape of former IBF World ruler Martinez, who landed his title in stunning fashion in August 2013 stopping the unbeaten Jhonatan Romero in America before stoppage wins in his first two defences against Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa.
Martinez is no stranger to the UK and Ireland having boxed Carl Frampton twice in Belfast and dramatically knocking out Bernard Dunne in the first round of their European title clash in Dublin.
After five fights in 13 months, Quigg was side-lined through hand surgery following the Otake fight, and the 26 year old says that time out of the ring has made him hungrier than ever.
“I was very busy and the break has done me good – I am refreshed,” said Quigg. “We know what Kiko brings, he’s been in everyone’s backyard and this is the toughest fight of my career – but there’s one thing I know, I will beat him on July 18.
“He’s strong, he comes forward and he’s a big puncher. It will be the best performance of my career and it will need to be, I predict a devastating victory.
“This is a dangerous fight and those are the ones I want. It’s the type of fight that you get out of bed for your morning runs for – the fear of losing that World title makes me work even harder.”
Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE will feature on the bill and Chris Jenkins will face Tyrone Nurse for British Light Welterweight title – with further fights announced tomorrow.
Tickets go on sale to fight pass members from midday today (Tuesday May 12), priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150 and £300 VIP from www.matchroomboxing.com
Tickets go on general sale at midday tomorrow (May 13), priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 through www.manchester-arena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIP’s are available exclusively through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £300.