TRAINER Joe Gallagher believes Anthony Crolla can shock Merseyside this weekend.
The Mancunian lightweight meets Derry Mathews at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday in what is a rematch of last year’s domestic fight of the year.
And Gallagher believes his charge will not only gain revenge but will also leave the 11,000 capacity venue silenced.
He explained: “We were at the David Price fight when he lost to Tony Thompson there and the place just went quiet. I said to Anthony, ‘listen to that, that’s what you can do by beating Derry Mathews’.
“Derry has got his whole city behind him in his fight but that doesn’t bother Crolla. He knows what job he has to do and it’s up to him to show he can go away from home again and beat a man on his own turf like he did against John Watson.
“I don’t think Derry had any pressure on him last time. This time he has. It’s in a big arena and I think it’s the first time he’ll be fighting in front of so many people.
“That can do one of two things; it can either make him raise his game or make him choke under the pressure. Crolla doesn’t have that pressure.”
Another thing which Gallagher believes can play a factor in this fight is Crolla’s growing maturity.
When the pair clashed in Oldham last April, Crolla suffered a career first knockdown and was cut badly over his left eye. This, Gallagher believes, forced his charge into veering away from the game plan and it’s a mistake he’s learned from the hard way.
“The referee kept stopping things to look at Crolla’s eye and that put a bit of panic in him. He thought it was stick or bust,” Gallagher said.
“Derry Mathews, in contrast, had that bit more experience and knew how to hold on and get through. He’d been down before against Choi and numerous fighters but it was new to Crolla and I think he’ll be better for the experience.”
He added: “This time it’s going be another good fight, probably the fight of the night, but it’s going to be a different result.”