It's all on the line for former world champions Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns in this eagerly-anticipated 'Battle of Britain'. Both fighters are natural warriors, but who'll come out on top? Join us as we preview what is bound to be an absolutely belting fight, below:
CROLLA V BURNS | Saturday 7th October | SS1, from 9pm (bout scheduled at 9pm)
Million Dolla to edge a thriller!
When previewing Linares v Crolla II we surmised the contest for the likeable Crolla by stealing a line from Rocky: 'You got balls going back in the ring with him, kid!' And balls he does have. The combative 30-year-old Mancunian returns to the ring looking to salvage his career, which has stalled after the two defeats to Jorge Linares. There's no shame in that, of course, and the way Crolla was willing to mix it against the supremely gifted Linares will stand him in good stead here. He's an intelligent boxer, and it was interesting to note the way he goaded the hard-hitting Ismael Barroso into slugging himself out when beating the Venezuelan southpaw in the only defence of his title, which he won from the dangerous Daleys Perez. He has the edge in terms of age, and it will be interesting to see if he can implement the same type of tactics he used so successfully against Barroso, or if the whole 'Battle of Britain' hype sees him getting drawn into a war. He's certainly confident enough, saying: "You've just mentioned then what is on the line tomorrow. Winning is so important. The winner goes straight back into fighting for world titles, the loser has to rebuild, maybe drop down a level, and neither of us want to do that. It's so important for us both to get the win, and I cannot wait for it."
Burns, like Crolla, knows that this is possibly a last chance at returning to world champion level fights. The Scotsman, a THREE weight world champion has dropped down to the 135 weight after his comprehensive defeat to Namibian fighter Indongo who outfought, out-thought and simply outpunched Burns, who looked a little jaded, but simply couldn't find any answer to the relentless energy of his opponent, despite having a height and reach advantage, just as he does against Crolla. It will be interesting to see how he reacts when hit, though he too, is bullish about his chances, stating: "A lot of people have been saying the winner possibly goes on to fight for a world title and there has been a lot of talk about where does the loser go from here. I've not been looking at it that way. I'm 100 percent confident about getting in here and getting the win."
'...but I'll stand my ground, and I won't back down!'
The Tom Petty tune really could be the soundtrack for this fight, with both fighters possessing real fighting hearts. Another Rocky-esque fight for British fighters could be on the cards tonight, with both men pumped for the challenge. Local boy Crolla will have the majority of the support and that could be telling. Despite the height and reach advantage we're taking Crolla's heart to see him through a tough fight. Despite Burns' durability, Crolla's work ethic could see him simply wear the older man down, forcing a late stopping (RD10 22/1, RD11 25/1, RD12 33/1) or a deserved points victory 5/6.
- Anthony Crolla (31-6-3) vs Ricky Burns (41-6-1)
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- Conor Benn (8-0) vs Nathan Clarke (5-1-1)
- Scott Cardle (21-1-1) vs TBA
- Gavin McDonnell (17-1-2) vs Jay Carney (5-3-2)
- Hosea Burton (19-1) vs Kristof Demendi (10-3-2)
- Charlie Flynn (8-0-1) vs Liam Richards (12-39)
- Joe Ham (11-0) vs Ricky Starkey (2-3-1)
- Sam Hyde (10-0-1) vs Attila Palko (24-29)
- Marcus Morrison (14-2) vs Mariusz Biskupski (23-45-2)
- Ryan Doyle (14-2-1) vs TBA
- Jake Haigh (6-0) vs Jamie Ambler (12-70-2)
Do you agree?
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