MANCHESTER’S Anthony Crolla has a second chance to win the World title on Saturday night in his re-match with Colombian hitman Darleys Perez at the Manchester Arena from 8pm. Quays News reporter Jamal Niaz spoke to Crolla ahead of the fight…

Anthony Crolla’s path to the world title has been no easy journey so far, from scratching and clawing his way to a shot at then champion Richar Abril, to having that opportunity mercilessly taken away from him after he was attacked outside of his home last January.

A true man of the people, Crolla put his own health and safety on the line to defend his neighbours’ property from burglars, which resulted in him fighting for his life after being struck with a concrete slab. In the eyes of many a promising career had seemingly been cut short with the painful thought of what could have been.

Thankfully this was not the case, as Anthony began to make a rapid recovery and was even talking about training again by February. The love from the fans and the unfulfilled dream of a world title is what drove the Manchester born boxer to return to full time training and all eyes were on a summer return to the ring.

Anthony Crolla in the boxing ring

After passing several health and medical tests in spring, Crolla was eventually cleared to fight and was immediately granted a world title match with Columbian Darleys Perez.

Coming back from a life threatening injury to fighting in front of a hometown crowd for the WBA lightweight title, a win for Anthony would have been the ultimate comeback story.

Seemingly cruising to a decision victory in the eyes of fans and professionals alike this was surely the defining moment in Crolla’s career.

However, Anthony was denied again when the judges ruled the fight a draw to the outrage of the boxing community.

Anthony Crolla in pre-Perez press conference

Bringing a climax to a rollercoaster year for the Gallagher’s gym fighter is the highly anticipated rematch between Perez, 32, and Crolla, 28, as part of a huge weekend for the sport.

Leaving the fight in the hands of the judges is a dangerous game in any combat sport, which is what Crolla has learnt from the previous fight as he revealed that he has focused on numerous fight ending combinations for the rematch.

The fight is part of a massive double bill on Sky with Martin Murray against Arthur Abraham being another highly anticipated fight this weekend.

Undoubtedly the biggest fight on the 21st is the Canelo v Cotto match stateside which has fans split down the middle as shown by Crolla himself in my recent interview with him, regarding this superfight he stated ‘My heart tells me Cotto, my head tells me Canelo’

Come Saturday night, the talking will be over and it will be time for Crolla and Perez to go to war at the Manchester Arena where fans will be hoping they have a new world champion representing this great sporting city.

By Jamal Niaz

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