The popular Anthony Crolla set out to say goodbye to his hometown fans in Manchester with a win, and he got one today, beating Frank Urquiaga by majority decision.
Crolla, who will retire at age 32 with a record of 35-7-3 (13 KO), took the fight on scores of 95-95, 97-93, and 98-92. Bad Left Hook scored it 96-94, with it really being a tale of two fights in our eyes. Urquiaga (13-2-1, 1 KO) opened strong in the opening half of the bout, but tired visibly and the better-conditioned, more experienced Crolla was able to consistently nick rounds through the second half.
At one point, we had Urquiaga up 4-0, but Crolla took the rest of the fight. Not always overwhelmingly, but by enough to deserve the close decision.
Crolla definitely didn’t look at his best here, probably mostly due to him being mentally checked out to a degree, which is fair, he knew this was going to be his last fight, or at least he intends it to be. He started slow, which he’s done in the past, but he also just never really turned it up, either, relying more on Urquiaga, a former European title challenger, to slow down.
Urquiaga definitely came to win this fight, and if he were a harder puncher, he might well have done just that. He clearly hurt Crolla in the third round on a body shot, but not enough to put him down and wasn’t able to follow up with quite enough to push the hometown fighter out of there.
Crolla was quite realistic about the performance and his standing in boxing after the bout.
“I definitely felt I done enough, but time’s up now. I’ve had a great career but it’s time to go now,” Crolla said after the bout. “I done the best I could. I enjoyed the ringwalk, enjoyed the fight, but I also knew, that’s it, I’m past it. I don’t want to hang around and be a stepping stone for young fighters coming through.”
“I lived the dream,” Crolla added. “I lived the dream.”
“He might turn up to pick up his sparring gear and clean his locker,” trainer Joe Gallagher said when asked what would happen if Crolla comes to the gym Monday. “I’ve been very proud to be part of his career. He’s such a very loyal, humble kid, and I wish him all the success in the future.”
“Thanks to each and every one of you who bought a ticket to this fight or any fight in the past,” Crolla said in his final in-ring words to his fans. “You helped me live the dream. Thank you so much.”