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Anthony Crolla has no regrets over rollercoaster career

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Ahead of his final pro fight Anthony Crolla has reflected on his 13-year pro career, saying he has “no regrets”.

The 32-year-old Mancunian will enter the square circle for the final time at Manchester Arena on November 2 against an opponent to be name on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s clash with WBO junior welterweight champion Christina Linardatou.

“[It’s been] an absolute rollercoaster. Thankfully the ups far outweigh the downs and I wouldn’t change it – if I could do it all again, I’d love to,” Crolla to the PA News Agency.

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“No regrets. There are obviously fights that could have been made. There was a time where two Manchester lads, me and Terry Flanagan, it would have made sense at the time, but it was different promoters and stuff.

“We both wanted that fight but it didn’t happen for one reason or another. It’s not a regret, it just didn’t happen and it’s one of those things.”

Crolla claimed the WBA lightweight title from Darleys Perez in 2015 and defended the title once before losing a competitive decision to Jorge Linares the following year.

In an immediate rematch with Linares, Crolla lost a comfortable decision.

After decision wins over Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan, Crolla faced arguably the best fighter in the world in WBA and WBO 135-pound champion Vasyl Lomachenko.

His challenge to the uber-talented Ukrainian southpaw ended in the fourth-round with Crolla on the canvas.

“After the Lomachenko fight I think ‘what do I want to achieve from the sport?” said Crolla.

“I’ve been a world champion, I planned to get a house paid for, which I’ve done and am thankful for.

“Then I think ‘Lomachenko (also now the WBC champion) isn’t giving up the belts any time soon’.

“I think boxing’s been good to me. I believe I can compete at world level for a bit, I feel great in the gym. But you can’t stay in boxing too long.

“It’s hard to let it go. There’s still big fights out there, decent money-earners. But then I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons.”

He added: “If it wasn’t at Manchester Arena, I probably wouldn’t fight again. Every time I fight at the arena I am living the dream.

“It could easily get emotional, but I can’t allow that to happen. I have to be strong and focused like for any other fight. If I want to get emotional, go out the back after and get emotional, not on the ring walk.”

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