Today on AWE in the United States and Sky Sports 2 in the United Kingdom, Anthony Crolla will make the first defense of his WBA lightweight title against Ismael Barroso in an intriguing matchup that could produce some fireworks.
The fights go live at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KO) won the WBA lightweight belt last November, knocking out Darleys Perez in the sixth round, four months after a controversial draw in their first meeting. Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KO) arrived on the scene with a December knockout of veteran Kevin Mitchell in London, shutting down any hopes for a Crolla-Mitchell world title clash in the United Kingdom, and forcing himself into the shot instead.
On the undercard, super middleweight veteran Martin Murray (32-3-1, 15 KO) will return for a tune-up bout against Cedric Spera (12-4, 2 KO), with Murray already set for a June 25 meeting with George Groves. Welterweight Shayne Singleton (22-1, 7 KO) will face Adil Anwar (22-5, 8 KO), and middleweight Marcus Morrison (10-0, 7 KO) will take on Jefferson Luiz (16-1-2, 10 KO). The latter two fights are set for 10 rounds, with Murray-Spera set for eight.
For a breakdown of the Crolla-Barroso matchup, click here.
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Anthony Crolla def. Ismael Barroso by KO (1:31 of round 7)
Shayne Singleton def. Adil Anwar by TKO (1:31 of round 8)
Martin Murray def. Cedric Spera by TKO (1:47 of round 2)
Marcus Morrison def. Jefferson Luiz by KO (0:40 of round 2)
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ROUND BY ROUND
ANTHONY CROLLA vs ISMAEL BARROSO
Round 1: Barroso poking the jab from the southpaw stance, Crolla trying to, as Jim Watt notes, claim the center of the ring. Barroso with a jab, Crolla looking to the body for a moment. Tentative start early, Barroso flicking out the jabs, Crolla trying to wait him out a bit early. Barroso did the more work here, even if there wasn't a lot of effective work either way. Very loud crowd. Barroso 10-9
Round 2: Barroso coming out a bit more aggressive to start this round. Barroso unloading with power shots, Crolla covering up and blocking the shots. Barroso with body work. Really throwing his hands this round, whacking away at the arms. Crolla lands a single shot and Watt is ecstatic. Barroso 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Barroso tagging the body here in the third round, continuing to work and work, Crolla continuing to cover up and cover up. Crolla's head snaps back on an uppercut, then he lands a little right hand that gets the crowd going. Barroso right back to work. Barroso 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Barroso working again to start this round. Commentary is praising Crolla while he loses rounds -- it's either going to be 100% dead on accurate, or completely divorced from reality. No middle ground. Crolla with a couple shots, but Barroso right back on him with activity. Crolla turning up the volume a bit this round, still getting out-worked, but a bit more two-way action now. Barroso banging away with both hands inside. Crolla not blocking quite as much anymore. Fun round. Crolla is cut near his right eye. Barroso 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Barroso continuing to work, and Crolla lands a good body shot. Barroso may be tiring just a bit, but he's still working. Right hand up top from Crolla. Barroso to the body. Crolla able to back him up a bit more now. Turning into a very good fight. Still liked Barroso this round. Barroso 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: Crolla lands a good right hand and Barroso is hurt! Crolla landing some good shots, and Barroso does genuinely look worn out now. Uppercut from Crolla. Barroso down from exhaustion, but it's ruled a slip. Barroso looks absolutely gone in there. He's basically saved by the bell here. Crolla 10-9, Barroso 59-55
Round 7: Going to be real interesting from here. Truly a war of attrition now. Crolla moving forward now. Barroso trying to keep him away. Body shot, and Barroso is down! Barroso takes the count! What a win! Crolla KO-7
SHAYNE SINGLETON vs ADIL ANWAR
Round 1: Singleton with a couple of decent shots early, Anwar bouncing around and trying to jab at distance, but he's short on them. Staying away. Singleton charges in, Anwar ties him up. Singleton charges on with a good shot, and Anwar goes down with 30 seconds left in the round on a hook. Anwar up, Singleton trying to close, Anwar survives. Singleton 10-8
Round 2: Let's see if this lasts a whole lot longer. Singleton is not here to mess around, clearly. Anwar clips Singleton with a good shot halfway into the round, and you gotta like Anwar showing some aggression himself. As they note, Anwar took this fight on two weeks notice and may not believe he's got 10 rounds of this in him, so he's going for broke early. More interesting round for sure. Anwar 10-9, Singleton 19-18
Round 3: Singleton with a nice little bounce-back round, not that he was in trouble, but he's slowed it back down and stayed out of any trouble. May have gotten a bit over-aggressive after the knockdown and he got caught in the second, but here he's back in control. Singleton 10-9, 29-27
Round 4: Singleton bullying Anwar a bit to start the round, trying to put him on the ropes. Anwar gets out. Anwar landing and then getting away this round, baiting Singleton a bit more. Good right hand from Anwar, and then another one inside. Anwar looking solid this round. Anwar 10-9, Singleton 38-37
Round 5: Anwar has the pace he wants, he's jabbing better, and he's controlling this fight at the moment. Singleton doesn't want to be reckless, but he might want to pick up the pace more than this. Anwar making him miss, maneuvering around and keeping Singleton off-balance. Anwar 10-9, 47-47
Round 6: Singleton having a bit more success this round, Anwar slowing down some, legs not moving as well. Singleton 10-9, 57-56
Round 7: Anwar has definitely gotten a bit more stationary, not bouncing around as much, but he's having a better round here again, because Singleton is slowing again, missing on his jab a lot, having trouble putting anything together, and Anwar is picking and pecking with shots. Anwar 10-9, 66-66
Round 8: Anwar keeping the pace again, but then he gets caught and dropped about 1:20 into the round, and that's a lot of time. Singleton flurrying, and he stops the fight! Singleton TKO-8
MARTIN MURRAY vs CEDRIC SPERA
Round 1: Murray pressuring and throwing, Spera, to his credit, is trying. Murray straying low some, and Spera willing to complain about it. He's a professional. Now he falls over when Murray "pushes down" on the back of his head. Well, his hands were there. Murray 10-9
Round 2: Clean body shot about 40 seconds into the round drops Spera. Spera "wisely" spits his mouthpiece out and gets a little extra time. Back to action, back on the hunt for Murray, and Spera is down again a minute later, and the referee stops the fight. Murray TKO-2
MARCUS MORRISON vs JEFFERSON LUIZ
Round 1: Morrison starting on the attack pretty quickly, not reckless but aggressive. Luiz trying to jab back upstairs and to the body, coming up short. Luiz back with a couple of shots, but he's getting smacked with left hooks and jabs. Morrison shoots a right uppercut, it's short. Right hand from Luiz, he slips and drags Morrison down with him. Take him with you. HARD right uppercut, left hook after, and Luiz goes down! Round ends, but this likely isn't going to go a lot longer. Morrison 10-8
Round 2: Luiz not exactly displaying confidence as he comes out for the second round. Luiz walks into a right hand. He's trying to throw back, but his defense is garbage. Body shot and Luiz is down again. He'll stay down for the count. Morrison KO-2