ON Saturday night, Manchester boxer Anthony Crolla outpointed Ricky Burns as they went head-to- head in a lightweight showdown at the Manchester Arena.

The Mancunian regained a humbled victory in his hometown, after defeating Scottish Boxer Ricky Burns on points after 12 close rounds.

In the much-anticipated fight labelled ‘The Battle of Britain’, the local boxer pleased thousands of fans with his win, as defeat was destined to mark the end of his career at world title level.

At 10:15, the ring walk began and ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla walked out to a roar of Mancunian supporters, backed by Whitney Houston’s ‘Million Dollar Bill’.

Both former world champions gave it their best shot in a tight first few rounds, each delivering an even performance.

Crolla went in at a superior pace which showed his undeniable determination for the fight in his hometown.

During the fifth and sixth rounds, Crolla gave some impressive wide right and left hooks, catching the Scottish Boxer’s midriff.

It was in the seventh round where the Scotsman landed a sharp uppercut, causing a bleed to the Mancunian’s nose.

After a strong ninth round from Burns, Crolla upped his game by throwing a barrage of consecutive punches in the tenth and eleventh rounds.

In the twelfth and final round, Crolla soaked up the home support and pushed for victory until the very last bell. The proud Mancunian ended the bout with a strong lead left, which sent burns stumbling to an unsteady finish.

It was a close call but the accuracy and urgency from ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla, lead him to a unanimous points victory.

“This was so special – Manchester I love you.”

-Anthony Crolla

Although Burns kept Crolla on his toes, the local boxer was said to have thrown cleaner, more accurate punches throughout the rounds.

Crolla’s win puts him back in the firing line to have another smash at the lightweight world title, after suffering defeat against Jorge Linares back in March this year.

The fight has been praised by boxing fans as both former world champions gave a great showdown in 12 tight-knit rounds and then respectfully left it all in the ring.

In the post-match interview, Crolla said: “This was so special – Manchester I love you. I thought I’d definitely done enough but I knew what this guy’s engine was and he kept going. “He gave me a very, very tight fight.”

Burns added: “Although it was close, I thought I did enough to edge it. I thought I landed the cleaner shots.

“I’m a wee bit gutted.”

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