WBA lightweight champion, Anthony Crolla is keen to establish himself as the number one lightweight in the world by securing a win over Venezuelan knockout artist, Ismael Barroso at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.
Barroso earned his title shot by stopping Kevin Mitchell inside five rounds last December at The O2 in London.
Crolla, although the champion, is seen by many as an underdog in this fight but says such a tag only makes him work harder.
“There was no way I was going to swerve Barroso,” said Crolla. “I’ll fight anyone, and I wasn’t about to duck my mandatory, no matter how dangerous. He’s been swerved and avoided, but when you are the champion it’s your responsibility to fight the best opponents out there, and he fits the bill.
“Barroso showed against Kevin that he was more than just a raw, wild big puncher. He showed he had the ability and a boxing brain. That wasn’t the best Kevin Mitchell that night. I felt at the weigh-in that it was going to be a tough night for Kev as he looked a bit frail and he looked a bit old in there.
“I’ve been the underdog a lot in my career, and it’s worked well for me, I’ve thrived off it. It’s not often the World champion is the underdog when he defends a title, but here we are. I’ve proved people wrong, and I will keep doing it. I’ve improved since the Perez fight, and I’m going to show it on Saturday.”
Tickets for Crolla vs. Barroso are on general sale £40, £60, £80 and £100 www.manchester-arena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIPs are available exclusively through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £200.
Tickets for May 7 are also available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/