By Terence Dooley
As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, WBC light-welterweight titlist Erik Morales could still offer Manchester’s Anthony Crolla a shock opportunity to meet the Mexican legend in the ring. Crolla had hoped to tackle Morales on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s win over Victor Ortiz only to see the bout disappear from view. Now, though, Erik’s father, Jose, has confirmed that the Brit could still be in the reckoning should ‘El Terrible’ seal a December date in his home country of Mexico.
This speculation is music to the ears of Crolla, although the British lightweight champion admits that he is keeping a mooted November 25th title defence against the underrated Willie Limond at the top of his agenda.
“There’s a lot of talk about it on the Internet,” he stated when asked if there is still a chance of netting the Morales opportunity. “I saw the reports about it from your lot and the stuff about Erik’s dad saying it could be on so I’ll have to just wait and see. It is exciting to be linked to Erik. Until it happens I’m thinking about Limond because that is down as my next fight.”
Frank Warren won the purse bids for Crolla-Limond, it is set for Ravenscraig Sports Centre should the BBBoC approve the venue and will be carried by BoxNation, Sky channel 456, here in the UK.
“I know Willie very well, we’re good mates, it is just one of those unfortunate things where we have to fight each other – it is just business. We’re fighting for the British title which is one of the best belts in boxing so we’ll put friendship to one side for thirty-six minutes,” declared Crolla.
“Willie was in with Morales last year and gave a good account of himself before the finish. He’s only lost three times and to guys who are world class or who went onto fight for genuine world titles. It is a very tough fight so I’ll have to be at my best. I would have liked to defend the Lonsdale (belt) a bit earlier to get my notches on it and keep it outright but it is has been a while since I won it – I can’t wait for my first defence.”
Crolla has fought twice since knocking out John Watson in Liverpool to claim the vacant crown back in February, wins over Herve De Luca and Juan Montiel coming in a round and on points respectively. Montiel took ‘Million Dollar’ to a split decision after a bout that although keenly contested looked to have resulted in a clear win for the 2006 ABA 135lb champion. This scare over the cards aside, Crolla enjoyed the big bill experience.
“It was great,” he enthused. “The arena was half-empty, but I can always remember sharing a bill with Floyd Mayweather as one of the highlights of my boxing career. Just being around the build up all week was great – it was a brilliant experience.
“Everyone said I won it comfortably – all the British, Mexican and American journalists – so the split decision was a surprise. Most of the Americans had me winning seven (rounds), losing one but I got the win even though it was a split decision. I made hard work of the fight, it was a very good learning fight and is something I can take a lot from.
“Montiel might not have had the best record [5-4-3 (2 early) going in] but he’s an underrated Mexican. ‘Nacho’ Beristain was in his corner, he wouldn’t have been there if it was a waste of time so he believed his fighter could do well.
“I got eight rounds, I needed them because I hadn’t boxed since June and that was a round with De Luca so I haven’t had too much action this year. It was great to get the rounds under my belt before the fight with Willie.”
A big Mayweather fan, the 22-2 (9) boxer made sure that he was on hand to bear witness to Floyd’s KO win over Ortiz. ‘Money’ picked up the WBC welterweight crown by picking Ortiz off and then taking him out after Victor’s terrible lapse of discipline and concentration when ‘Vicious’ landed a butt on Floyd in the fourth, apologized repeatedly then looked away to ref Joe Cortez at a crucial moment and was hammered with a swift one-two from Mayweather. Like many fightser, Anthony believes that Victor was at fault for ignoring one of boxing’s cardinal rules.
“Floyd looked fantastic. He had a layoff but there was no ring rust. OK, it wasn’t the most sporting thing but Victor Ortiz started it with the butt then said sorry, said sorry and said it again, how many times do you have to apologize. What Floyd did wasn’t sporting but it was within the rules. You are supposed to defend yourself at all times,” his opinion of Mayweather’s four round demolition derby.”
Adding: “Ortiz had his moment of madness with the butt, said he was sorry and should have kept his guard, he showed out to Floyd a little bit there.”
It is unlikely that Crolla-Limond will produce such venom, both will adhere to the rules yet the bout will be fiercely waged as any so-called grudge match, with the Morales fight a distance dream Crolla is keen to remind people that his mind is on Limond. “I know Willie’s a really good fighter so I’ll come in at my best to successfully defend the title for the first time,” his pledge.
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