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Anthony Crolla victory inspires fighters from the Ultimate Boxxer tournament

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Fans’ favourite Anthony Crolla inspired Ultimate Boxxer hopefuls by grinding out a win on the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard that keeps him on course for another shot at the world lightweight championship.

Manchester ace Crolla is an ambassador for boxing’s exciting and revolutionary new entertainment brand that brings together eight unbeaten welterweights in thrilling toe-to-toe action at the Manchester Arena on Friday, April 27.

“Million Dollar” had the greatest night of his career there, the fifth-round knockout of Darleys Perez in November, 2015 that brought him the WBA title, and the 31 year old stayed in contention for another title shot with a points win over game Mexican Edson Ramirez at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

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Crolla overcame a nasty cut on his right eye midway through his 10-rounder after heads clashed – but he stayed calm and held his boxing together to go on and win unanimously, and widely, on the three judges’ scorecards.

His crucial big-fight experience, accrued over nearly 12 years as a professional in 42 fights, with English, British, Commonwealth, International and World title honours under his belt and potentially more to come, ensures Crolla is an ideal mentor to the fighters, alongside former World Champions Ricky Hatton and Paulie Malignaggi.

Ultimate Boxxer contender Andy Kremner was watching the fight – and felt inspired.

“I’ve always followed the Manchester fighters,” said Kremner, “and Crolla is definitely one of my favourites.

“You have to admire someone who’s been through everything Anthony’s been through and still got to the top.

“He lost fights early in his career, we thought his career was over after he was badly injured chasing burglars – and it wasn’t easy for him on Saturday night either.

“That was a nasty cut he picked up, but Anthony just got on with it and got the job done.”

Ultimate Boxxer Isaac Macleod said: “I would love to see Anthony win back the world title. His story is so inspiring to other fighters. It’s a ‘Rocky’ story – and unlike ‘Rocky,’ it’s real. Anthony is proof of where hard work and self belief can get you.”

There’s talk of a possible match between Crolla and Matchroom stablemate Luke Campbell later this year.

Crolla, who held pound-for-pound fighter Jorge Linares to a draw in a world-title challenge, said:

“I’m looking for big fights sooner rather than later.

“I’m going to have a break for a few weeks and I’m looking forward to ‘Ultimate Boxxer.’

“I’ve looked at the fighters taking part and it’s wide open. One of them is going to be star and I’m looking forward to finding out who it’s going to be.”

ULTIMATE BOXXER I will take place at the Manchester Arena on April 27. Tickets are available from www.ultimateboxxer.com

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