Crolla to challenge Abril for WBA lightweight title

16/11/2014 10:45

Anthony Crolla will challenge Richar Abril for the WBA lightweight title at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester on January 23.

Crolla has been pursuing a shot at Abril after a string of notable wins and received hometown advantage for his crack at the Cuban.

Crolla, 28, warmed up with a routine six-round points win over Hungarian Gyorgi Mizei Jnr on Saturday night in Dublin and is determined to seize his first opportunity to become a world champion.

Wins against Gavin Rees and John Murray pushed the former British champion to within touching distance of a world title fight - but promoter Eddie Hearn has struggled to get a deal over the line.

A September clash with Abril had to be abandoned when the Cuban took on Edis Tatli instead.

But Hearn has spent the past two months trying to resurrect that fight - and has now finally sealed the deal.

Fighting 32-year-old Abril, who is based in Miami, in Mancheter is also a added bonus.

“To have the world title shot in Manchester is a huge factor,” said Crolla. “Without wanting to sound cheesy, it doesn’t get any bigger than that.

“I am a Manchester lad so to be fighting in Manchester for a world title, I couldn’t ask for anything more and the only way it could get better than that is to go out there and win it.
“I have been watching a bit of Abril over the last year because we have been linked with a fight before, but I will watch a lot more of him after tonight. He is a very good champion - he is avoided for a reason.
“It is a very big ask, but there will be a few factors in my favour like being in my hometown which will bring an extra 25 per cent out of me.
“In training I will have an extra edge to me because I won’t have a problem getting out of bed in the morning knowing there is a world title at stake.
“I really believe deep down that I can win that fight and become a world champion. I am under no illusions, it is a tough fight and I go in a big underdog. But it is a fight I am capable of winning and the setting couldn’t be any better.
“To do it in front of my home fans really is the stuff dreams are made of.”