Crolla crushes Perez to claim WBA lightweight title
Anthony Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) dethroned Darleys Perez (32-2-1, 20 KOs) by fifth round knockout to win the WBA lightweight title on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester.
The hometown favourite battled to a draw with Perez at the same venue in July but the rematch ended in explosive fashion.
A crunching left to the body sent the Colombian visitor to the canvas and unable to beat the ten count.
Crolla was the busier from the start, although Perez picked him off with some hard punches in the second.
Then the challenger started to take charge and landed solid shots to the head and body in the fourth, but it was a left to the body in the following round that finished it.
Perez was counted out by referee Terry O’Connor at 2:30 of the round and Crolla was crowned world champion.
"I believe I'm getting stronger all the time and I was always confident I would get Darleys Perez out of there, but I thought it would be a head shot that would do it," said Crolla.
"I remember touching the right upstairs and then sinking the left in.
"It's an amazing feeling."
The world title win comes less than a year after Crolla suffered a fractured skull and broken ankle when confronting burglars at his neighbours' house.
He had been scheduled to challenge Richar Abril for the WBA title, but was forced to pull out due to the assault in December 2014.
"I've had a rollercoaster 12 months but this is the perfect ending and a dream come true," added the new champion.