British contender Anthony Crolla has admitted he was so devastated by the draw with Darleys Perez in their WBA lightweight title fight in July that it took him months to watch it.
Perez was out boxed in several rounds and deducted two points for low blows and the controversial nature of the decision has led to an immediate rematch, which takes place on Saturday in Manchester, England.
Crolla, who turns 29 today, has finally watched the bout with trainer Joe Gallagher and believes the pair have devised the masterplan to put things right this time.
“I still think I won it,” said Crolla, who is rated No. 10 by THE RING at 135 pounds. “People say it was a career-best performance, and it might have been, but I’ve improved since then. In the last fight there were times I out boxed him and times where I hurt him and that gives me huge confidence. I’m sure he’s going to start fast and try to impose himself on me, to try to show that it wasn’t him at his best last time, but I look forward to answering the questions he’s going to ask me.
“We had each other’s respect early in the fight. He landed some decent shots early in the second but I landed the best punch in the fight with the right hand in that round. It was a shot we worked on and my power is growing all the time. I’ve never said I was a one-punch knockout guy, I never have been and never will be, but it didn’t shock me that I hurt him. The shot came at a good time for Perez, it was at the end of the round and he clung on, but this time I won’t let him off the hook.
Crolla continued, “It was a tough fight and I felt the pace, I think we both did. There were some shots that strayed low from him, and at the end I thought I my dream had become a reality. I thought I’d done my bit but it didn’t go my way. I knew that it was close and you don’t want to leave things to chance.
“They were lucky to get away with the belt last time but they may not be so lucky this time. I’ve got to expect a better Perez and I know I have to be better too.”
Information courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing
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