Almost 12 months ago Anthony Crolla was left fighting for his life after being struck over the head with a paving slab having attempted to apprehend two burglars from his neighbours property. He suffered a fractured skull and and a broken ankle and it occurred at the worse possible time, weeks before his first ever world title challenge. His boxing career he feared was over.
The assault left him “lucky to be alive” but incredibly he returned to the sport and in July fought for a world title that ended in a controversial draw against Columbia’s Darleys Perez.
Second time around on Saturday night he did not rely on the judges knocking the same opponent out with a vicious body shot in the 5th round to the delight of a packed MEN arena in Manchester. The Columbian shook his head once he touched the canvas, Immediately it was clear he was unable to continue.
The result leaves Crolla the WBA lightweight champion and ensures he will enjoy a much better Christmas this year “it was up in the air whether i would be able to fight again. This Christmas I will have the belt under the tree with a lot to look forward to next year.”
Nobody in the boxing fraternity could begrudge the Manchester man achieving his dream given the circumstances.