ANTHONY CROLLA will achieve a lifetime ambition when he boxes at the MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas on Saturday night (Sept 17).
Manchester’s British lightweight champion boxes a non-title eight rounder against Mexican Juan Montiel on the Victor Ortiz-Floyd Mayweather Jr undercard.
The Hatton Promotions star who had been slated to fight Mexican legend Erik Morales on the bill said: “I was devastated when that fight fell through, but these things happen.
“If someone had told me when I turned professional that one day I would box on a major card like this I would have been made up.
“I still have a chance to shine and if I put on a good show it can only increase my chances of getting a major fight.
“I even cancelled a summer holiday, but it was worth it because I have this fantastic opportunity.”
Crolla, 24, who arrived in the world’s fight capital at the weekend, believes Montiel will provide a stern test despite having a patchy 5-4-3 record.
Anthony who boasts a 21-2 record, and is due to risk his Lonsdale belt against Willie Limond later this year added: “Last time out he drew with Carlos Molina who was 14-0 until then so Montiel is no mug.
“I have been in the gym all summer and I can use this fight as part of my training for the Limond fight.”
To see Nigel Turner’s exclusive interview with Anthony in full please log onto http://www.hattonboxing.com/tv/news/crolla-will-enjoy-the-big-time-in-vegas
Gutsy McCloskey eyes Maidana contest
Dungiven lion comes back from first round count to defeat Prescott
Paul McCloskey says he wants to challenge Marcos Maidana for the WBA Light Welterweight title in Belfast after defeating Breidis Prescott in a thrilling eliminator contest on Saturday night.
The Dungiven fighter bounced back from a first round knockdown and a bloodied nose in the second round to secure a gritty win in front of a packed Belfast crowd.
McCloskey admitted to a slow start in the fight but he finished strongly as the Colombian began to tire, and will now seek a second shot at the World title, this time with a home town show against the Argentinean Maidana.
“I would love to fight Maidana, we have already spoken on Twitter – he’s a true gent and a great fighter,” said McCloskey. “I think it’s a fight that could happen and it would be fantastic to have it in Belfast again. The support on Saturday was unbelievable, it really pushed me over the line in the last round.”
Prescott wobbled McCloskey with a couple of big rights in the sixth round – the round that the Colombian predicted he would win the fight. But McCloskey stood firm and grew into the fight in the second half of the action, something he attributed to his excellent conditioning training.
McCloskey began to find joy with his work to Prescott’s body in the latter rounds and winded Prescott who began to tire, McCloskey sensed his chance and was the constant aggressor as the fight drew to a close.
The final round was greeted by thunderous roar from the crowd and both McCloskey responded with a flurry of punches in a crucial assault in the last three minutes that would ultimately clinch victory for McCloskey.
“I am so happy the way I won the fight because I started off terrible tonight,” said McCloskey. “I lost the first few rounds. He was out-jabbing me and I had to find a way round it. I had to work round it.
“Prescott hits hard but after five rounds, that power seemed to dip for some reason. I don't know why but we talked about this before the fight. "I felt it dip. When he hit me in the first few rounds I could really feel it, but after that it wasn't so tough.
“I'm a skilful fighter but as I've showed in a few of my other fights, I've got a big heart. And in this game you're going to have nights when you need to dig deep and I dug deep tonight.
“Maybe I wasn't sharp tonight. Prescott has long reach and he's deceiving in the way he throws his punches, he was catching me with jabs and I thought this shouldn't be happening. But I pulled out the right result in the end.”
McCloskey’s promoter Eddie Hearn said that work on a World title fight would begin right away, and that a return to the Odyssey Arena was a strong possibility.
“I would love it to be in Belfast but we will go anywhere to turn Paul into a World Champion,” said Hearn. “He deserves a World title shot after beating a man that everyone else avoids. He will say himself that it wasn't his best performance skill-wise, but the determination and courage Paul showed against Breidis is worthy of a World title shot alone.
“The Odyssey Arena was rocking and everyone left with a smile on their face. That’s what Paul brings to the table – a great fan base and guaranteed entertainment. That’s the perfect mix for a World title fight.”
LONDON - TYSON Fury is back in the ring on Saturday night looking to start a journey towards a showdown with either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko in 2012.
British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Fury takes on North American champion Nicolai Firtha in an international 12 rounder at the famous King's Hall in Belfast live on Channel 5 with the winner expected to take a step up the world ladder.
Fury watched the WBC World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko easily retain his title against Poland's Tomasz Adamek at the weekend and promoter Mick Hennessy says the Irishman is the one man who can end the World domination of the Klitschkos.
Hennessy commented: “Everyone in boxing must know now that the only man who can beat the Klitschkos is Tyson Fury. Tyson is a modern day heavyweight, he's 6ft 9' but he also has the speed, the heart, the hunger, the chin and the power to beat either one of them.
“I think 2012 is going to be the year that the World heavyweight division is turned upside down by Tyson Fury. He didn't get to box for Ireland at the Olympics in 2008 because of boxing politics but there would be no better way for him to give something back to the Irish fans who are now right behind him than to win the World heavyweight title at Croke Park in the year of the London Olympics.
“We have total respect for the Klitschkos because they have proven themselves to be true warriors and the best in the division since Lennox Lewis retired but now they must realise that there's a new kid on the block and he's coming to rule the heavyweight division and his name is Tyson Fury.
“There's exciting times ahead for Tyson and his fans, starting on Saturday night at the King's Hall when there's going to be a real rumble between Tyson and Nicolai Firtha. I know with the backing of Channel 5 that Tyson is getting the kind of exposure he needs to become the World superstar he is destined to be.”
Tickets are on sale priced at £28.00, £50 and £100 from the Ticketmaster box office on 0844 277 4455 (24 hour). Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets, and online from www.ticketmaster.ie .