Anthony Crolla's world title fight off after attack by burglars

17/12/2014 10:50

British contender Anthony Crolla suffered a serious head injury and a broken ankle following an altercation with two burglars on Tuesday night.

The Manchester lightweight, who was due to fight for a world title in January, suffered a fractured skull and broke his ankle in two places when he was hit with a concrete slab.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed Crolla had been pursuing intruders who ran through his garden after leaving his next-door neighbours' house in Chadderton.

He was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital, where he underwent a scan, with his world title fight against Cuban Richar Abril on January 23 at the Manchester Arena now postponed.

Trainer Joe Gallagher said: "The next-door neighbours were being burgled, and the burglars came into his garden. He gave chase and apprehended one of them. The other one lifted a slab of concrete and hit him with it, and he fell and broke his ankle.

"He is in bits and heartbroken."

The former British and Commonwealth champion had worked his way into world title contention by  going eight fights unbeaten after back-to-back defeats in 2012, and was set for the biggest bout of his eight-year professional career against WBA champion Abril.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Unfortunately the 23 January fight is off but our concerns right now are with Ant and his family. I'm devastated for him. He has been training for six weeks for this and has a shot at the world title in his home town. I have spoken to Richar Abril's team and we are trying to reschedule the fight."