Anthony Crolla will face Richar Abril for the WBA world lightweight title at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on Friday January 23, live on Sky Sports.
Crolla, who claimed a six-round shut-out over Gyorgy Mizei Jnr. tonight in Dublin, is thrilled to have landed the well-earned shot at the big one after a fantastic run of results with wins over Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster Jnr and John Murray – and believes bringing the fight to his hometown make it an even more special night.
“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. He came onto the scene when he fought Brandon Rios and everybody except the judges that night could see he won clearly. He is a very good fighter, a well-schooled amateur and nice and relaxed.
“It is a very big ask but there will be a few factors in my favour like being in my home town 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.”