After securing a unanimous decision victory over Ricky Burns in Manchester in his last fight, there are a host of options ahead for former WBA lightweight world titleholder Anthony Crolla.
The Scottish challenger and three-weight world titlist appealed for a rematch due to the closeness of the initial encounter, but Crolla is likely to opt for a different path in the coming months given the stage of his career.
There are plenty of superb upcoming bouts on the horizon still in 2017, including the big one between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux in December. In this first-ever battle between the multiple-time Olympic Gold medallists, it’s Ukrainian Lomachenko who will enter as the 1/6 favourite in the latest boxing odds.
As well as this, David Haye takes on Tony Bellew once again, while Crolla will likely have to wait until the New Year for his next career outing. But who will it be against? Here are some potential options for the Mancunian.
2012 Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell endured an emotional outing last time out, as he was outpointed by classy Venezuelan Jorge Linares to suffer only his second professional defeat.
The Yorkshireman had to deal with the death of his father during his training camp for the fight, as he sadly passed away only two weeks before Campbell took to the ring.
Hull’s talented fighter has called for a sensational rematch with the South American, but a lightweight title eliminator meeting with Crolla would be an attractive bout for both men in their pursuit of honours.
Ricky Burns rematch
There weren’t many complaints when the scores were read aloud at the Manchester Arena, with Crolla getting the nod from the judges on home soil. Burns thought he had done enough, but a close clash was always likely to go in favour of the home fighter in this instance.
There are many more intriguing bouts now on the horizon for the victor, as he attempts to regain a world title and make some more money before calling it a day. But a rematch in Scotland with Burns will always be on the table as both men share Eddie Hearn as a promoter.
An all-Manchester match between Crolla and Terry Flanagan has been on the cards for quite some time now. Manchester City supporter Flanagan holds the WBO lightweight title and is an undefeated world champion who has struggled to nail down the big-name opportunities.
Contesting fellow Mancunian and Manchester United fan Crolla in their own backyard would be a huge event. It’s another chance for Crolla to try and win a world crown too, though there’s a difference in promoters here which may cause a hold-up.
Jorge Linares trilogy
How about a third meeting with Linares? The South American has dispatched several Britons in his career of late.
Linares has overcome Crolla twice already, both times coming in Manchester, with the second being a world-class performance. It’s clear that the London-based world champion has Crolla’s number but a trilogy fight may be of interest still if the money and conditions are right. Watch this space!