By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY CROLLA has vowed to become Manchester’s first world champion since Ricky Hatton.
He defends his British lightweight belt against Liverpool’s Derry Mathews on Saturday and hopes victory leads to a European title shot against Welshman Gavin Rees.
Crolla, 25, was linked with a WBO world title shot against Ricky Burns in December but it didn’t come off.
Now he hopes to put himself back in the frame with an impressive second defence of his domestic title and then a clash with Rees.
Hatton last held one of the four world title belts in 2007 and Crolla is desperate to be Manchester’s next global star.
He said: “Manchester hasn’t had a world champion since Ricky and it would mean so much if I could be the city’s next world champion.
“There’s a new crop of boxers here and an exciting new era. I’m going to bring those big fights back to Manchester.”