The Million Dolla’ Story

By Cain Bradley on June 17, 2016
The Million Dolla’ Story
The Ring Lightweight title is up for grabs here, showing how high Jorge Linares is rated.

Given the fairytale nature of the Anthony Crolla story would it surprise anyone if he beats Linares and Zlaticanin…

Would you have believed in April 2008 that former ABA Champion, Anthony Crolla, who lost to Youssef Al Hamidi with a record of 3-8-1 on an Amir Khan undercard, would become anything more than a great amateur who failed to live up to standard as a professional?

Would you have believed in May 2009 that Anthony Crolla, who had just lost to domestic rival Gary Sykes, on the card where Lee Selby was handed his only professional defeat, would manage to reach domestic title level?

Would you have believed in April 2012 when Derry Matthews stopped British Champion Anthony Crolla that he could ever rebound and get to the world title level that every boxer dreams of?

Would you have believed in December 2014 that Anthony Crolla would recover, from a brutal attack when preparing for a world title bout against Richard Abril, after confronting two burglars raiding a neighbor’s house with a lump of concrete leaving him lucky to be alive, to ever box again?

If you are done with doubting Anthony Crolla, you are not alone. It makes for the kind of story that those who love a cliché suggest could not be made up. He has constantly had to battle through adversity. In a tough British lightweight division he originally struggled to make himself stand out from the crowd. After rebounding to a draw with Derry Matthews he would do a domestic treble defeating Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster Jr. and John Murray. Another draw would postpone his ascent to world level as an accidental head butt led to a stoppage on cuts and a technical draw. He returned in a World Championship bout against Darleys Perez which was scored as a controversial draw. The serial underdog would finally get his title when stopping Perez in his next fight. Even when champion he has been underrated. He was again underdog against Ismael Barroso after the impressive way he has stopped Kevin Mitchell. Crolla lost the early rounds hoping to wear Barroso out and it worked as he stopped Barroso in the seventh.

The oddsmakers have offered Crolla some more respect this time making him slight favorrite against Linares. Crolla could probably have been given some leeway by the fans if he took a lesser bout, maybe trying to avenge his loss to Derry Matthews. Instead he is boxing a three-weight world champion who holds the WBC diamond belt. The Ring Lightweight title is up for grabs here, showing how high Linares is rated. Crolla will feel this is a winnable fight for him. He can set a high work rate and try and land shots to punish Linares who is definitely vulnerable to big shots. The Ring stated that they expect the winner to fight Dejan Zlaticanin to be full WBC champion. Terry Flanagan will no doubt be upset if that is the case as he believe Anthony Crolla to be avoiding him, stating Frank Warren has done his best to make agreeable terms. They are local rivals, having attended the same gym as youngsters and even the same school. A future bout could no doubt sell out an arena in Manchester. Given the fairytale nature of the Crolla story would it surprise anyone if he beats Linares and Zlaticanin before going on to defeat Terry Flanagan in what would amount to one of the greatest five fight runs ever. His history tells us not to bet against it.

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Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso HD

Darleys Perez vs Anthony Crolla

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  1. 6 Million Dolla Man 05:00am, 06/17/2016

    “a lump of concrete?” Maybe we should place a ban on concrete. Tough breaks, can’t help but root for this guy to turn things around.

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