Crolla collides with Perez in awaited lightweight title rematch
Lee Gormley | November 19, 2015
Anthony Crolla v Darleys Perez
- WBA lightweight title fight
- Saturday, November 21st
- Scheduled for: 22:00 GMT
- Manchester Arena
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Crolla contests Perez in anticipated rematch
After a contentious draw with WBA lightweight champion Darleys Perez in July, Anthony Crolla will once again take to the Manchester Arena ring aiming to make amends in their anticipated rematch, and clinch that world title in front of his home fans this weekend.
On Saturday night, ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KOs) has a second shot at dethroning Colombian champion Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs), having been agonisingly close at the first time of asking in his own backyard.
The 29-year-old recently admitted that he has become obsessed with winning the WBA lightweight crown in front of his rapturous home crowd, and is 6/1 with Coral to triumph by knockout over South American Perez.
Draw hurt Crolla
Following the anguish of that previous controversial draw in their first fight, with Perez having been twice deducted points for low blows late on, Crolla is more driven than ever to complete a remarkable rise to a world title and admitted to only watching the initial bout recently.
“I didn’t watch the fight for a few months,” stated Crolla. “It was a bit gutting watching it back because I found it hard to see that I had not won the fight.
“But I have watched it back since with Joe [Gallagher] over the last few weeks, time and time again, looking at what to work on to get the title this time.
“Every time I watch it, it doesn’t get any easier. I still think I won it, but I can make it right on Saturday.
“People say it was a career-best performance. It might have been, but I have improved since then.”
Belt staying in Manchester?
Manchester’s home hope was sublime in that first bout in July, with many regarding it as his best performance to date, despite the bizarre result, but he is out to make sure his Colombian opponent doesn’t leave with the belt this time out.
“In the last fight there were times that I out-boxed him, times I hurt him, and that gives me huge confidence,” continued Crolla, who is 11/10 for a points decision victory on Saturday night.
“I am sure he’s going to start fast and try to impose himself on me, to try to show that it wasn’t him at his best last time, and I look forward to answering the questions he is going to ask me.
“They were lucky to get away with the belt last time and they may not be so lucky this time.”
Perez a confident champion
The travelling champion for this weekend’s long-awaited rematch is confident of spoiling Crolla’s party though, claiming he would have won unanimously first time out if not for those deducted points.
“There is no doubt that I would have won the first fight by unanimous decision if I didn’t get deducted for those low blows,” declared Perez, with the title holder 2/1 for a points decision.
“It was my fault and I won’t make the same mistakes in the rematch. I’m hungrier now then I’ve ever been and nothing is going to stop me from bringing back my title to my countrymen of Colombia.”
Crolla was rated at a clear 116-111 winner by one judge in July, but denied the crown by two counts of 113-113, though Perez has outlined his intentions of ending the rematch early, and is 14/1 to stop the home favourite in rounds 1-3.
“I’m a true champion who never backs down from adversity,” continued the 32-year-old, who has tasted defeat just once so far his career.
“My goal is to end the fight early..”
“Crolla is a very skilled fighter with a lot of heart and I know he’s coming for my title. He’ll have his entire country behind him when we fight, but that doesn’t faze me.
“My goal is to end the fight early with a knockout, but if we go the distance, I have complete faith that I will get a fair ruling from the judges in the UK.”
Crolla’s deserved rematch is just one of many high-profile fights taking place this weekend, but it’s the much-liked Mancunian who will look to capture the headlines by relieving Perez of his lightweight strap, and finally cement his position as a world champion.
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