This Friday, April 12th, he faces Manchester’s Anthony Crolla, the WBA mandatory challenger, in Los Angeles. The WBA ‘Super’, WBO and The Ring lightweight titles on the line, ‘Loma’ is the overwhelming favourite with the bookies, some offering odds of 1/100 on him retaining his championships but in Crolla, ever the underdog, he’s facing a man that’s battled against the odds throughout his career, bouncing back from the depths of despair in and out of the ring on multiple occasions, yes he’s up against a seemingly machine like opponent, some may say he’s out of his depth in terms of skill or natural boxing ability but you can be confident ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla will never be found wanting for heart or determination and that’ll be on show in the ring once again this weekend.
It’d be a fair assessment to say Crolla has somewhat over achieved as a professional boxer already, he amassed a record of 28-4-2 against domestic and fringe European level opposition before his first world title tilt, a highly disputed draw against Darleys Perez in 2015, a fight that came on the back of the infamous, well publicised out of the ring issues faced by Crolla before he set the record straight in the immediate rematch stopping Pérez with a vicious body shot, a victory that was met with unbridled jubilation in Manchester and beyond, one that will have its deserved place in British boxing history books but this is a different kettle of fish, a triumph against Loma would be colossal and would register as arguably the single greatest success of any British boxer.
For many this is a routine, mandatory defence for Lomachenko before he goes on to become the undisputed champion of the division, maybe even jump to 140lbs and attempt to win titles in a fourth weight class, he’s that good but for a bunch of proud Mancunians this is a chance to see one of our very own attempt to defy the biggest of odds, to make the unimaginable a reality, it’s almost inconceivable that Crolla will hear the final bell let alone have even the slightest chance of overcoming such a mammoth assignment but yet again Manchester will support their favourite son, in the hope of hearing ‘And The New!!!’
Yes the likelihood is Crolla may fall short but it won’t be for the want of trying or a lack of effort, Joe Gallagher and the team have drilled their man into the best shape of his career, for the biggest fight of his career, maybe the final fight of his career? It’s a legacy fight, one he can proudly look back on and accept he challenged the best, that he attempted to reach the pinnacle of the sport he’s so proudly represented.
Win, lose or draw Anthony Crolla has had a career to be immensely proud of, he’s renowned as one the most popular boxer in the UK, you’d be hard pressed to find somebody say a bad word about him, and he’ll need every ounce of that support when he fights Vasyl Lomachenko 👊🥊
Written by Luke Carney for SimBoxx
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