MANCHESTER lightweight's and football team rival's former WBA Anthony "Million Dollar" Crolla & current WBO World champion Terry "Turbo" Flanagan DUAL SIGNED Boxing Monthly magazine, edition March 2017.
RED vs BLUE Anthony "Million Dollar" Crolla eyes up Manchester derby with old school friend Terry "Turbo" Flanagan after suffering second Jorge Linares defeat.
Crolla could follow his trainer Joe Gallagher’s wishes and move up to the 10st, super-lightweight division.
By Steve Lillis
Anthony Crolla could live up to his "Million Dollar" nickname in a megabucks Manchester derby fight with school pal Terry Flanagan.
Crolla had his World rocked by WBA lightweight champ Jorge Linares for the second time in six months at Manchester Arena on 25th March 2017.
Yet despite losing 118-109 on all three scorecards, his promoter Eddie Hearn will now demand seven figures from rival Frank Warren for a clash between Crolla and Flanagan.
That could happen later this year, as WBO king Flanagan defends his crown against Russian Petr Petrov in his hometown on April 8.
Although Hearn has a deal with Sky Sports, he would allow former World champ Crolla to face Flanagan on a show staged by Warren — and for any fight to be broadcast on BT Sport plus BoxNation.
Hearn said: “You can take well over seven figures on the gate — or even go for a split.
“On the one hand, you have a champion in Flanagan making what would be a voluntary defence, which says 75-25 to him.
“But on the other hand, look at the Amir Khan and Kell Brook fight.
“Brook was champion, Khan wanted at least 70-30. We were willing to give him 60-40.
“That was because Khan is a bigger name than Brook — just like Crolla is a bigger name than Flanagan.”
Warren tried to make the title clash last year but Crolla turned down a fight that would pull in 20,000 fans.
The pair attended the St Matthew’s RC High School in Moston as kids.
Yet they sit on opposite sides of Manchester’s great historical football rivalry.
Crolla is a rabid Manchester United supporter, rarely missing a match home or away.
Flanagan, 27, is a Manchester City season-ticket holder and walks to home games from his nearby Ancoats home.
Crolla has the bigger fanbase right now but Flanagan — who would start as the favourite — has a treasured World-title belt that would be up for grabs.
Hearn added: “BT or Sky doesn’t matter if it means making a lot of money. Certain fighters like Anthony Joshua are a different scenario.
“But someone like Crolla — who has three to five fights left — has got to take the very best opportunities.”
If there is no huge offer from Warren, Crolla is likely to follow his trainer Joe Gallagher’s wishes and move up to the 10st, super-lightweight division.
Crolla is also desperate for a fight in Las Vegas before ending a career that started more than ten years ago.
He said: “It is every fighter’s dream. If I’d have won against Linares and a fight was made in Las Vegas, I would have brought good numbers over.
“Now we will reassess things — but it’s certainly something I wouldn’t say no to.”
Anthony Crolla (born 16 November 1986) is a British boxer who has fought in the super featherweight and lightweight divisions. He is the current WBA lightweight champion. He won the English super featherweight title in October 2010 with a victory over Andy Morris and the British lightweight title in February 2011 with a win against John Watson.
Early Professional Career
Crolla made his professional debut on 14 October 2006 when he scored a points win over Abdul Rashid at the MEN Arena in Manchester. Five more fights throughout the rest of the year and into 2007 resulted in five more victories giving Crolla an unbeaten record of 6–0 at the end of his first full year as a professional. Crolla begun 2008 with a win in Germany on 19 January beating Tomasz Kwiecien and followed this up with another victory on 14 March, travelling to the Old Trafford Stadium to beat journeyman Steve Gethin. On 5 April however, in his third fight of the year so far, Crolla lost his unbeaten record to Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi at the Bolton Arena, losing on points over 8 rounds. Two fights in September resulted in Crolla returning to winning ways against Robin Deakin on the 6th and then travelling to the York Hall in Bethnal Green on the 26th to meet Al Hamidi once more and to gain a revenge win over six rounds. Crolla finished 2008 with further victories over Carl Allen in October and Jon Baguley in December finishing the year with a record of 12–1.
Fights With Sykes, Brodie And Morris
Crolla begun 2009 on 14 March with a repeat victory over former opponent Carl Allen and then on 29 May took part in his most significant bout to date, a British title eliminator at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke. The fight resulted in a second career defeat for Crolla as he lost a ten round points decision to Gary Sykes. On 25 September he returned to the ring and scored another victory over an opponent he had already met, Jon Baguley and then on 27 November met and defeated the former World champion Michael Brodie who had returned to the ring following a long lay off. He continued his winning run in 2010 with victories over Jason Nesbitt, Sid Razak and Chris Riley before on 2 October challenging Andy Morris for the English super featherweight title. The fight at the De Vere Whites hotel in Bolton resulted in a 7th round stoppage for Crolla and a first career title.
British Lightweight Champion
Crolla stepped up a weight division when on 12 February 2011 he challenged John Watson for the vacant British lightweight title. Described as an "early contender for fight of the year" Crolla won the fight in the 9th round after scoring a 9th round knockout. Describing his move up a weight division after the fight Crolla said "I knew I’d be strong enough at lightweight, but I didn’t know I’d be that strong. I’m in with strong kids in the gym all the time and they say my strength is underrated. But even I couldn’t believe how strong I was." On 21 April 2012 Crolla lost his British Lightweight Title to 28-year-old Liverpudlian Derry Matthews at the Oldham Sports Centre. Matthews knocked Crolla down in the 3rd round, and the fight was eventually stopped with 4 seconds remaining in the 6th round.
In September 2012 Crolla entered the Prize Fighter tournament beating Stephen Jennings in the quarter finals in what many felt was the best display of the night. Crolla reached the semi-final stage, losing a very close points decision that could have gone either way to Gary Sykes.
Fight With Kieran Farrell
Kieran Farrell was at the time a young up and coming prospect that had beaten the 14 opponents put before him. His new promoter Dave Coldwell fancied his fighters chances against Crolla, feeling he may be on the slide. Crolla beat Farrell; just after the final bell Farrell collapsed and was rushed to hospital. He had suffered a brain injury during the contest and will no longer be able to box.
Matthews 'The Rematch'
The rematch took place and the fight ended in what was as clear a draw as you could expect. The fight started with Crolla being very cautious and allowing Matthews to score without much reply. The middle rounds were closer and Crolla took the later rounds.
WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Title
On 30 June 2013, Crolla beat former WBA light-welterweight World champion Gavin Rees with a majority decision at the Bolton Arena.
World Title Cancellation
Crolla was scheduled to fight Richar Abril of Cuba for the WBA World lightweight title in January 2015.
This fight was cancelled after Crolla suffered a broken ankle and a fractured skull during a burglary. Crolla confronted two burglars who were raiding a neighbour’s house. Crolla was able to catch one of the intruders, but was then attacked by the other with a lump of concrete.
Crolla was crowned World champion when he defeated WBA lightweight champion Darleys Perez with a fifth round stoppage. The stoppage came after a body shot crumpled Perez to the canvas. This was a rematch after their first fight ended in a controversial draw in July 2015.
Crolla vs Barroso
Crolla made his first defence of his WBA lightweight title against mandatory challenger Ismael Barroso at the Manchester Arena on 7 May. Barroso displayed his punch power in a chilling knockout win over Kevin Mitchell in December 2015. Crolla finished the fight with a body shot, retaining the WBA lightweight title. Crolla was behind on all three judges scorecards (56–58, 55–59 twice).
Crolla vs Linares
On 15 June it was announced on Sky Sports that a deal had been made for Crolla to fight WBC 'Diamond' champion Jorge Linares (40–3. 27 KOs) on 24 September at the Manchester Arena. Crolla's WBA World lightweight title will also be at stake as well as the Ring Magazine World championship. Crolla, who was named Ring Magazine's Most Inspirational fighter of 2015, said it would be 'a dream come true' if he can beat Linares and claim the Ring Magazine title. In front of the hometown crowd, Crolla was rocked in round 6 following a right hook as the fight went the distance. The judges scored the fight 115-114, 117-111 and 115-113 in favour of Linares. This was Crolla's first loss in 10 fights and regarded by many a close contest filled with action throughout. An immediate rematch was discussed post fight.
Crolla vs Linares II
Reports in early December suggested a rematch could possibly take place in Manchester on 25 March 2017. The winner of the rematch would then be ordered to fight the winner of the Dejan Zlaticanin vs Mikey Garcia, due to take place January, which was won by Garcia, in a unification fight. All three titles would be at stake in the rematch, with Eddie Hearn due to make an announcement in 2017. An official announcement was made on 4 January 2017, for the fight take place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, a city which Linares said was open to returning to. The WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring magazine World lightweight titles would be at stake. The fight would be televised live on Sky Sports in the UK and on 24 January, Showtime announced they would cover the fight in the United States. Both fighters weighed in at 134.4 pounds.
On fight night, in front of 13,000 fans, Crolla was dropped in the seventh round by a left uppercut, and went the distance to lose by wider margins (119-109 on all three scorecards) than the first fight. Crolla started off well hitting to body, but Linares quickly capitalised and started connected well to the body and landing combinations of uppercuts. Linares put in a more solid and dominant performance than their first encounter. At the end of round 11, Crolla's trainer Joe Gallagher came into the ring and walked towards referee Howard John Foster, possibly to stop the fight. After Crolla pleaded with him, Gallagher allowed him to go the distance. With the win, Linares retained the WBA, The Ring and WBC Diamond lightweight titles.
In the post-fight interview, he thanked his promoter Oscar De Le Hoya for making the trip and watching him ringside and said his next move would be a big pay day in Las Vegas against WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia. Crolla apologized to the live attendance, admitted he lost to the better man and said he would be back to rebuild, "Manchester, I am so sorry I couldn't do it for you. Your support means so much to me. He caught me but before that I thought I could get to him. I got beaten by the better man - no excuses. I am 30 years old, I am going to rest, but I believe I can go again." Both fighters embraced at the final bell and showed respect. Crolla meditated around moving up to super lightweight. This was the first time Crolla had lost consecutive fights and losing to the same opponent twice after his losses to Gary Sykes in 2009 and 2012.
Terry Flanagan (born 11 June 1989) he has held the WBO lightweight title since July 2015, becoming the first Englishman to win a World title as a lightweight. He also held the WBO European title in 2015 and the British lightweight title in 2014. He took part and won in the Prizefighter series: The Lightweights II in 2012.
From Ancoats in Manchester, Terry Flanagan had his first professional fight in 2009, beating Danny McDermid on points.
After winning his first 12 fights between 2009 and 2012, he beat Dougie Curran in May 2012 to take the vacant English super featherweight title. This was the second time the two had fought, previously meeting in 2010. Curran entered with a record of 0-6-1 in his previous seven bouts. Flanagan had one point deducted for holding in the 5th round. The judges, after 10 rounds scored the bout (99-90, 99-91 twice). He successfully defended the title four months later against Troy James on points (99-92, 99-93, 98-94).
Flanagan took part in the Prizefighter Series: The Lightweights II at the Olympia in Liverpool on October 6, 2012. In the quarter finals, Flanagan defeated Patrick Walsh (10-1, 3 KOs) via unanimous decision 29-28 on all three judges cards. In the semi finals, Flanagan knocked down Derry Mathews (30-7-1, 16 KOs) in round 2, winning the fight via decision 29-27 on all scorecards. Flanagan went on to win the prizefighter tournament in the final defeating Gary Sykes (20-2, 5 KOs) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).
In April 2013, on the undercard of Khan-Diaz at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, Flanagan fought and defeated former unified World Lightweight champion Nate Campbell (36-10-1, 26 KOs). Campbell retired on his stool at the end of round 4 with an injured right hand.
On July 26, 2014, Flanagan claimed the vacant BBBofC British lightweight title by defeating British boxer Martin Gethin (24-5-1, 11 KOs). Gethin did not come out for round 8 after his right ear was badly swollen.
WBO European Champion
Flanagan vs Ormond
Flanagan challenged WBO European Lightweight champion Stephen Ormond (17-1, 8 KOs) on February 14, 2015 at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. In round 9, Ormond was deducted a point for use of the head, and ultimately disqualified in round 10 for persistent use of the head, thus losing his belt in the process. At the time of disqualification, Flanagan was heading towards a unanimous decision win (88-82, 88-82, 88-82).
WBO Lightweight Champion
Flanagan vs Zepeda
After claiming the WBO European title, Flanagan stepped up to challenge unbeaten American Jose Zepeda (23-0, 20 KOs) for the vacant WBO Lightweight title. The title was left vacant by Terrence Crawford, after he moved up weight class. The fight took place at the Velodrome in Manchester on July 11, 2015. Flanagan registered an early win on a technical decision. Zepeda sustained what looked like a bad dislocation to his shoulder due to clash of arms and was unable to continue, retiring on his stool after round 2.
Flanagan vs Magdaleno
Flanagan successfully retained his World title on October 10 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester against number 1 ranked WBO 28 year old American Diego Magdaleno (28-1, 12 KOs). The fight was halted after Flanagan unloaded a flurry of shots against Magdaleno when he was trapped against the ropes. The official time of the stoppage was 2:38 of round 2. Flanagan dropped Magdaleno down three times in total. Referee Terry O’Connor decided to halt it rather than let Magdaleno continue to fight.
Flanagan vs Matthews
Flanagan met Liverpudlian Derry Mathews (38-9-2, 20 KOs) for the 2nd time in his career, the first being the Prizefighter semi final, which Flanagan won, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on March 12, 2016. Although Flanagan was penalized one point in round eight for throwing and landing an illegal forearm to the chin of Mathews, Flanagan won the fight convincingly via unanimous decision (115-112, 117-110, 117-110). Flanagan overcame a slow start before taking control of the fight in the second half. Both boxers were knocked down once in round 2.
Flanagan vs Fana
Flanagan was set to make a third defence of his WBO lightweight title against former IBF super-featherweight champion Mzonke Fana (38-9, 16 KOs) on the undercard of Tyson Fury's July 9 rematch with Wladimir Klitschko. Due to that fight being postponed, the fight was moved to take place at the Ice Arena in Cardiff on July 16. Flanagan successfully defended his title with a battling win that went the full 12 rounds. Fana rallied after a fourth-round knockdown from a huge left hook but Flanagan's class ensured a third successive title defence. Flanagan troubled Fana with another powerful left in the eighth before dropping him again in the final round. All three judges agreed a 120-106 points success to ensure Flanagan earned a 31st successive win.
Flanagan vs Cruz
It was announced on October 27, 2016 that Flanagan would defend his WBO title against 35 year old former World title challenger Orlando Cruz (25-4-1, 13 KOs) at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on November 26. A card promoted by Frank Warren which would also feature Billy Joe Saunders first title defence against Artur Akavov. Cruz failed to become boxing's first openly-gay World champion after suffering a knockout loss to Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title in 2013. This was Flanagan's fourth title defence. With a successful defence, Flanagan would be on course for a future unification fight against the winner of the rematch between Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares. Flanagan spoke of the fight claiming Cruz is a dangerous fighter but he would be looking to retain his title via stoppage. Flanagan knocked Cruz down twice in the 8th round, the second of which came after a right hand to the temple, which prompted referee Steve Gray to stop the fight 43 seconds into the round. Flanagan had dominated throughout the fight until the finish.
Flanagan vs Petrov
At a press conference on 23 January 2017, Frank Warren announced that Flanagan would be making his fifth defence of his WBO World title against former super lightweight World title challenger Petr Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KO's) on 8 April 2017 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester. This would be the first time since October 2015 that Flanagan would be fighting in his home city.