Crolla: I’m in a good place

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 12 May 2015

BOXING fans at the Manchester Arena on July 18 will see a “starving” Anthony Crolla finally return to the ring.

Chadderton-based former British champion Crolla (28) has been forced out of action since before Christmas with a concussion and a broken ankle while tackling burglars fleeing from a break-in next door to his home. A scheduled WBA world title fight with Cuban Richar Abril in Manchester had to be shelved.

He has since worked hard to regain his sharpness under medical staff and trainer Joe Gallagher.

Providing he gets through a final medical today, an eagerly-awaited return is just over nine weeks away.

A press conference tomorrow will announce his opponent and whether a title belt will be the prize.

Crolla said: “I’m in a really good place, I’m very confident I’ll get the medical clearance, and I’m probably ahead of schedule in preparation for the next fight.

“I was doing little stretches and exercises from January, even when I was still on crutches, and once I lost them I was soon back to building myself up and doing strength work. I couldn’t ask for anywhere better to return.

“We’ll find out an opponent this week, but whoever it is I’m determined to make July 18 a great night for me and everyone who has supported me. The North-West boxing fans will spend their hard-earned money on tickets and they will create a cracking atmosphere, just like they always do.

“If I don’t get my world title shot this time, I’d certainly hope to get one by the end of the year.”

Crolla has been through a rough five months of rehabilitation, but the time out has helped to rekindle his ambition to become king of the world at his weight.

“There were times after the incident when I was climbing the walls,” he said, “but in a strange way I honestly believe the break has done me good. It’s given me a chance to recharge the batteries. I’ve taken time to sit back and analyse things, and I honestly believe that when I come back on July 18 I’ll be better than I’ve ever been.”

twitter: @Smedders1966