Anthony Crolla lined up for world title shot after recovering from attack

Anthony Crolla lined up for world title shot after recovering from attack

Posted on - May 13 Wednesday, 2015

Anthony Crolla will fight Darleys Pérez for a world title in July after recovering from injuries suffered when he was attacked by burglars.

Crolla was due to face the Cuban Richar Abril for the WBA world lightweight title in his native Manchester on 23 January but the fight was cancelled after he was hit with a concrete block when confronting burglars who had broken into his neighbours’ property, suffering concussion and a broken ankle.

Pérez, from Colombia, now holds the title on an interim basis and will put it on the line against Crolla at Manchester Arena on 18 July.

Both Crolla and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, who described hearing the news of Crolla’s injuries back in December as “a crushing blow”, were visibly emotional at the announcement of the bout.

Hearn said: “Anthony had worked so hard for so many years to get that shot and it was cruelly taken away from him through an act of bravery that most people wouldn’t even consider. It’s been a real tough road for him, he’s an inspirational character, and I promised him that once he returned to full fitness we’d get him a shot.

“So today I’m absolutely delighted to announce that Anthony Crolla will fight Darleys Pérez for the WBA lightweight title on 18 July at the Manchester Arena. I’m so proud and emotional to deliver this shot for Anthony Crolla.”

Crolla said: “The world title shot’s come again, we’ve been here before and I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I’ve got to thank this man [Hearn], he promised me once I came back to full fitness he’d get me a world title shot and he’s a man of his word, he’s done that.”

The bout is part of a card that also features Bury’s Scott Quigg fighting the Spaniard Kiko Martínez for the WBA bantamweight title while Anthony Joshua, Britain’s super-heavyweight gold medallist at the London Olympics, will look to continue his unbeaten record as a professional heavyweight.

Crolla continued: “With Scott Quigg and the other fighters on the bill, from our gym and around the city, it’s a great bill. I’m just happy to be a part of it.

“Every time I fight at that arena, that’s the arena where I grew up, saving up my pocket money to watch our champions – Ricky Hatton, Michael Brodie – it’s something that’s special to me.

“The support I’ve had from this city, I think the best way to thank them is to go out there on 18 July and win a world title. That’s what I believe I’ll do and I’ll give it everything I have to make sure that happens.”