Anthony Crolla (29-4-2, 11 KOs) will get a shot at the WBA lightweight title when he faces Darleys Perez (32-1, 20 KOs) on July 18th in his hometown of Manchester, . As some of you may recall, Crolla was assaulted pretty badly last December when he intervened in a robbery attempt at his neighbor's home. On that unfortunate night, Crolla's goodwill earned him a strike to the head from a concrete slab, which left him with a skull fracture and a badly broken ankle that were believed to be career-ending injuries. And just like that, his title shot against Richar Abril was no longer an option.
But now Crolla's fortune seems to have turned around, and he'll be given another shot at the title. Crolla still has weeks of extensive physiotherapy to undergo, but he's excited to recapture the chance he last missed out on.
"I'm just glad to be a part of this bill and finally fight for a world title," said Crolla, who was visibly moved by the occasion. "I can't thank the city of Manchester enough for all the support I've had through the years. The only way I can thank the fans is to go out there and win a world title."
The fact that Crolla is still undergoing therapy for his injuries gives me a little pause that this might be too soon for him to fight - but it appears that those close to the situation, including promoter Eddie Hearn, believe that he's good enough to go.
"I promised that once he returned to full fitness I would get Anthony a title shot," said the Matchroom boss. "It's an honor and a pleasure to deliver that."
His opponent, Darleys Perez, is currently riding a 4-fight winning streak after losing to Yuriokis Gamboa in June of 2013. The WBA promoted Perez to full titleholder after Richar Abril was stripped for pulling out of two defenses, citing a case of dengue fever.