Anthony Crolla will face Richar Abril for the WBA World Lightweight title at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on Friday January 23, live on Sky Sports.
Crolla, who claimed a six-round shut-out over Gyorgy Mizei Jnr. tonight in Dublin, is thrilled to have landed the well-earned shot at the big one after a fantastic run of results with wins over Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster Jnr and John Murray – and believes bringing the fight to his hometown make it an even more special night.
“To have the World title shot in Manchester is a huge factor,” said Crolla. “Without wanting to sound cheesy, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. I am a Manchester lad so to be fighting in Manchester for a World title, I couldn’t ask for anything more and the only way it could get better than that is to go out there and win it.
“I have been watching a bit of Abril over the last year because we have been linked with a fight before, but I will watch a lot more of him after tonight. He is a very good champion, he is avoided for a reason. He came onto the scene when he fought Brandon Rios and everybody except the judges that night could see he won clearly. He is a very good fighter, a well-schooled amateur and nice and relaxed.
“It is a very big ask but there will be a few factors in my favour like being in my home town which will bring an extra 25 per cent out of me. In training I will have an extra edge to me because I won’t have a problem getting out of bed in the morning knowing there is a World title at stake.
“I really believe deep down that I can win that fight and become a World champion. I am under no illusions, it is a tough fight and I go in a big underdog. But it is a fight I am capable of winning and the setting couldn’t be any better. To do it in front of my home fans really is the stuff dreams are made of.”
Details on when the tickets will go on sale later in the week and the details will be publicised at www.MatchroomBoxing.com