Former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla is gutted after his Greater Manchester gym was destroyed by a fire.
The blaze started on Sunday morning at Morton Mill in Failsworth, destroying a number of other buildings.
The 33-year-old Bit retired in November with a record of 35-7-3 (13) after 13 years in the professional ranks.
Crolla fought some of the best 135-pounders of his era, including Vasiliy Lomachenko, Jorge Linares and Ricky Burns. His last fight was a 10-round majority decision victory over Frank Urquiaga at Manchester Arena.
Crolla took over the gym, where he started his amateur career, 18 months ago.
“The gym was packed out every night with kids, it was a big part of the community,” Crolla said to the BBC.
“The gym is destroyed, the building is just a shell. There are a lot of other business, this is not just about me. This is people’s livelihoods.”
Despite the loss of the gym, Crolla put the incident in proper perspective.
“We will come back better than ever, without a doubt, but I am worried with the current coronavirus situation that it will take more time,” he said.
“And while I am devastated, I understand that there are bigger things happening.
“There are people who are losing their lives all the time. You have to put things into perspective. I know that as a young amateur club we will come back better than ever and come through this.”
Incident commander with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Steve Jordan said: “Investigations are underway to try to determine the exact cause. We are working with various partners and also our fire investigation team to understand the origin of the fire.”
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