MANCHESTER’S Anthony Crolla, 34-7-3 (13) has admitted that despite fighting for the final time on Saturday night he hopes to look close to his best in his farewell fight against Frank Urquiaga, 13-1-1 (1) at the Manchester Arena. Crolla has decided that it is time to find something else to do with himself, but wants to give his fans something to remember against the Barcelona-based Peruvian.
The fight was initially for the vacant WBA Continental lightweight trinket, but Crolla hit the scales at 9st 10lbs 11oz so it will only be on the line for the visitor. “Without a doubt, I still have the hunger,” he told Chris McKenna of the Daily Star.
“I want to wake up on Sunday and my mates are saying, ‘You’ve still got a lot left.’ That hunger never really leaves you but you have to feed that in other ways. Boxing has been so good to me. I’m very thankful for what it has done for me.”
The 32-year-old began his career at the same venue when beating Abdul Rashid on points over four in 2006 and he has had some great nights there with wins over John Murray (rsf 10), Darleys Perez (ko 5), Ismael Barroso (ko 7) and two gutsy losses to Jorge Linares, both by decision. “Million Dollar” lost to Vasyl Lomachenko in four earlier this year and decided that he would have one more go in order to go out with a win.
Crolla has also told Matchroom Boxing that headlining at the venue over the years has meant the world to him. “I enjoy the pressure because there are so many other fighters who would love to be in the position of headlining at the Arena, this place means so much to me,” he said during a video called The Last Dance. “I’ve sat here in the upper tiers as a young lad and have to pinch myself sometimes.”
He added: “I remember on my debut I was the live float, I was 19 and it was the dream. I ended up boxing in front of about 300 people that I’d sold tickets too and I will always remember it, it was a dream come true. The ringwalk is one of my favourite things about being a fighter and the reception that they give me in Manchester every time I walk out is amazing.
“I don’t know much about Urquiaga but I know that he is capable, he lost on points when he fought for the European title but I believe I should be beating him. That’s what I will do, I will go out on a massive high on November 2 and enjoy this last dance. I have never avoided anyone throughout my career and I’m going to have to be on it to get the win.”
Tyson Fury, 29-0-1 (20), believes that he is having a better time in what he has called his “second career” than he was in the period leading up to his decision win over Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in 2015. Fury told the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast that he enjoys himself more now, even if it means taking a few more punches than he used to take in the past.
“I call it two careers,” he said. “The first time was about achieving my dreams and becoming heavyweight champion of the world. But when I got there I thought that it was a load of s**t. So the second career isn’t about winning belts or anything but it’s just about having fun.
“I box now because I love to fight and I have finally found what I love to do and that is to be involved in exciting fights and to take punches and hit people back. I go into these fights and I am like a loose cannon, a crazy character, I don’t care if they hit me. I don’t care what they do but I am going to enjoy myself and enjoy the fight. I have gone past the stage of caring about a fight. We are in the entertainment business and I am having fun and I am so happy right now.”
Bury’s Scott Quigg’s, 35-2-2 (26), first fight in a year will take place on the undercard of Andy Ruiz Jnr’s rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia on December 7 and the former WBA super-bantamweight titlist believes he still has a world title win within him despite falling short against Oscar Valdez last year for the WBO featherweight title.
The 31-year-old meets Dublin’s Jono Carroll, 17-1-1 (3), for the WBA Inter-Continental super-featherweight bauble in what he hopes will be a winning end to a frustrating year after he was forced to pull out of a fight against Jayson Velez in April due to a shoulder injury.
“I am delighted to be on this huge card,” he told David Pye of the Bury Times. “It is a great platform for me to launch my career forward again and get my name back out there after being out the ring for over 12 months due to injury.”
He added: “Despite being out the ring for the length of time I have I expect to be putting in a career-best performance and moving back into the title mix. I look forward to the Saudi Arabian experience and I am privileged to be part of such a special show.”
Johnny Nelson might have to ask his tailor to let his pants out a little bit after revealing that when he drinks coffee he suffers from a swollen testicle, but stopped short of revealing if the problem applies to the left or to the right. The former WBO cruiserweight titlist has told Anthony Thrower of the Daily Star that: “I have this problem when I drink coffee.”
“I can’t drink caffeine because one of my balls swells up. It goes from peanut to coconut. I thought: ‘There’s something not quite right here.’ So I went to the doctor and he started laughing and said: ‘Well, just don’t drink coffee.’ So now I just try and stay away from caffeine.”
Despite the ravaging effects of this mystery ailment, the 52-year-old Sky Sports pundit still cannot resist a cup of pick-me-up on fight night, so has told people to look out for a tell-tale sign that the swelling has struck again. “Now and again if you see me walking and I’m shaking a leg out then I’ve had a cup,” he revealed.
We have all had a few too many drinks, staggered about a bit, and then said: “You know what, I’m away to rob the local boxing club.” This was the case in Boscombe recently when a drunken women robbed the place after an earlier robbery attempt by someone else had left Bodysnatch Boxing Club’s window unsecured. The opportunistic thief made off with club sweatshirts and t-shirts, only to be caught on CCTV.
The club’s owner, Marc Plunkett, released images of both the raiders and was contacted by the female one, who offered to return the items and clean up the mess she had made. “She was embarrassed about what she’d done whilst very drunk, and wanted to return the clothes but was too scared of what might happen,” Plunkett told Jane Reader of the Bournemouth Echo. He is not pursuing charges against the Boscombe t-shirt bandit.
“I’ve told her nothing will happen, I just want the stolen items back,” he said. “She then said she’ll return them, is very sorry, thanked me for being so understanding, and if I need the gym cleaned she will do it.”
Plunkett had boarded up one of the gym’s windows due a crack only for the first thief to prise the makeshift repair away and break into the club. After failing to find any money he decided to call it a night. Around four hours later the second thief entered the building and was seen scampering away with bundles of clothing. The club has been open for less than a month yet already has over 80 members. Plunkett said that the local community chipped in with offers of support when they heard the news. “The way the people and businesses have been since hearing of the break-in has been unbelievable,” he said. “This is a really great community which is thoughtful and caring.”