Anthony Crolla to challenge WBA champion Darleys Perez on July 18

13/05/2015 13:26

Britain’s Anthony Crolla (29-4-2, 11 KOs) will challenge WBA lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1, 20 KOs) on July 18 at the Manchester Arena.

Crolla landed a world title shot after wins against domestic foes Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster Jr. and John Murray. But he suffered a fractured skull and broken ankle in an attack while confronting intruders at his neighbours' house, and was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout with then champion Richar Abril in January.

But now he returns to the ring with a world title bout against Colombian Perez, who was made WBA champion when Abril was stripped of the title after he twice pulled out of defences against Derry Mathews.

"It’s amazing to be back in the ring and fighting for my first world title, said Crolla. "Lying in my hospital bed after the attack, I didn’t know what the future held, I was just lucky to be alive, but I have worked so hard and had so much support that I have to win that title.

"Perez is a great fighter and I know I am going to have to be at my very best to beat him, but with everything that has happened, it feels like I am destined to win the belt and I will be busting a gut in the gym to be in the best shape I have ever been in on the night to get that belt."

Perez said: "Anthony Crolla is a tough boxer, but I know I have what it takes to beat him in style. My plan is to travel to England and gain new fans with a devastating victory over their hometown favourite."

Also on the card, WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg defends his title against former world champion Kiko Martinez.