Anthony Crolla to meet Darleys Perez for WBA lightweight title
Emotions were high in Manchester, England, today following the announcement that British lightweight Anthony Crolla will meet Darleys Perez for the WBA title on July 18 in his home city.
Crolla (29-4-2, 11 knockouts) was physically assaulted in December when he foiled a burglary attempt at a neighbor’s home. The 28-year-old was struck on the head by a concrete slab and his injuries, which included a fractured skull and a badly broken ankle, were initially thought to be career-ending.
Tragically, Crolla also lost a WBA title opportunity against then-titlist Richar Abril and his dreams were reduced to ashes.
Weeks of extensive and disciplined physiotherapy lay ahead but Crolla’s miracle-like efforts have now been rewarded in the best possible way. The affable technician will headline a show which also features stablemate Scott Quigg and heavyweight star Anthony Joshua.
“I’m just glad to be a part of this bill and finally fight for a world title,” said Crolla, who was visibly moved by the occasion. “I can’t thank the city of Manchester enough for all the support I’ve had through the years. The only way I can thank the fans is to go out there and win a world title.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn was on hand at the press conference and summed up his own feelings.
“I promised that once he returned to full fitness I would get Anthony a title shot,” said the Matchroom Sport boss. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to deliver that.”
The WBA lightweight title was stripped from Richar Abril for twice failing to make title defenses. Perez, from Colombia (32-1, 20 KOs), was elevated to full titleholder status as a result.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing