For a boxer who came into this fight as an underdog, Manchester-born Anthony Crolla survived some early blows from Ismael Barroso to come out as a winner in the 7th round of his first title defence fight.
Although he was a fan favourite in this fixture – as Crolla fought in front of his home crowd in Manchester – that support did little to help him in the earlier stages of this match.
The Venezuela-born Barroso got quickly into his stride as he pushed Crolla to the ropes for the first four rounds.
However, after a resurgent comeback in the 5th, Crolla showed signs of life as he knocked out Barroso in the 7th round. After getting a body blow from the English fighter, Barroso stayed on his knees as the referee counted to signal the end of the bout.
“This is my house and no one comes into it and takes what I’ve got. He thought he was going to get me out of there in three rounds.. but I’m improving and I’ve shown that tonight.” Crolla said after the fight.
This is undoubtedly a huge win for Crolla who came into this fixture as the underdog.
Before the fight, many viewed the relative lack of experience of Crolla as a weakness for the Brit.
However, as epitomised by his late comeback, Crolla has what it takes to retain the WBA Lightweight title.
Asked after the fight how this win compared to that of Darleys Perez’ – a fight which Crolla won last November, the English born fighter was quick to add that this might be the best ever win of his career to date.