by Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY CROLLA insists he will not be haunted by the tragic accident suffered by ring rival Kieran Farrell when he returns to action tonight.
'Million Dollar' Crolla outpointed Farrell in December, but was thrown into turmoil when his fellow Mancunian collapsed after the final bell of their barnstorming 10 rounder.
He will have to go toe-to-toe again in his revenge mission against old rival Derry Mathews at Liverpool's Echo Arena when the vacant Commonwealth lightweight crown is at stake.
Doctors found blood on Farrell's brain and although he leads a normal life, boxing again is out of the question.
Crolla, 26, said: "What happened to Kieran hit me pretty hard, but now I am ready.
"Kieran will never box again, but thank God he is making a full recovery and opening his own gym.
What happened in our fight I have put to the back of my mind because I know my rematch with Derry could be a brutal fight again.
"You never go in the ring with the intent of causing serious harm, but I am prepared for a brutal fight."
Stopped Mathews stopped Crolla in six rounds last April, when the rivals delivered one of the best fights seen in 2012.
Crolla had been touted for a crack at WBO champion Ricky Burns, but was floored and cut, before crashing to an upset defeat.
"The defeat has put me back a full year," admitted Crolla.
"Winning the rematch won't get me a fight against Ricky, but will put me back in the frame for bigger fights," he added.