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Anthony Crolla to make first title defense against Ismail Barroso on May 7th

Anthony Crolla will be taking on Ismail Barroso in his first title defense, taking place at the Manchester Arena this May.

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Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

WBA lightweight titlist Anthony Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) will be putting his strap on the line for the first time when he takes on Ismail Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KOs) in Manchester, England on May 7th. Crolla first laid claim to the WBA title when he emphatically stopped Darleys Perez on a body shot in the fifth round last November. That more or less capped-off the happy ending to the life-threatening injuries he suffered during a confrontation with burglars at his neighbor's home in 2014.

After winning the title the WBA ordered Crolla to face Barroso by April 12, but obviously there was some flexibility with that deadline. Be that as it may, the fight appears to be signed, sealed, and soon-to-be delivered.

"I am under no illusion that this is a tough task but there was no way I was not going to take the fight," said Crolla.

"People said I was going to duck him - if I don't fight him I lose my belt, simple. Of course I am going to fight him, I've worked too hard to become World champion to give it away.

The announcement for the undercard of this fight is expected to take place during a press conference next week in Manchester.

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