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Crolla Responds To Flanagan: Talks Burns Fight, Ritson, Future

by Shaun Brown

Last week WBO Lightweight champion told Boxing Scene that he didn't give a f*** about Anthony Crolla and a fight against his Mancunian rival.

Such phrases were bound to get back to the former WBA title holder, and they did.

Text messages and even a comment from his father, who sometimes delivers Terry's post, meant that at some point a response wouldn't be far from Crolla's mind.

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Flanagan's feelings towards 'Million Dollar Crolla' and his thoughts on his win over Ricky Burns, just under a fortnight ago, were all taken in good jest by the 30-year-old.

"I don't take it personally. He's frustrated," Crolla said when 'Scene caught up with him recently.

"I'm fed up with saying it and I'm sure Terry probably is well: I've got no problem with the fight, Terry's got no problem with the fight.

"I know he thought I looked like an old man in there on Saturday night, that's cool (laughs). The old man shout was funny and I didn't mind. Terry's entitled to his opinion. I hope he gets the big fight that he craves soon."

Crolla couldn't honestly say with any conviction, as you might expect, if a local derby between the two would ever happen.

"If he comes through the mandatory [against Ray Beltran] and I have another good win then maybe he gives a f**k me (laughs). We might fight! Who knows."

While Flanagan v Beltran isn't anywhere near being confirmed, with 'Turbo' craving a big-fight unification against the likes of Jorge Linares, there has been another portion of excitement added to the career of Anthony Crolla.

An England versus Scotland contest brought Crolla and Ricky Burns into the ring against one another in a bid to show what each man had left to offer at 135lbs. After an entertaining contest, Crolla got the nod with a unanimous decision (116-113, 116-114, 117-112) to push his career upwards, once again, rather than sideways looking down.

It was a big fight for British boxing and a big night for both teams, and their support. The type of night that Crolla is still in boxing for, and is confident that there a few more still to come despite telling 'Scene that he won't be aiming for a 50 fight career like Burns hopes to.

"I still believe there's still a few chapters left," said Crolla of a career that was almost cut short three years ago after being attacked by burglars who were attempting to rob a neighbour's house.

"I want to be involved in as many big nights as possible before I do go, and that's why I couldn't understand why certain people were saying the loser has to retire.

"I still believe I've got a lot to offer. I think Ricky showed that he still had a bit left on the night. We both showed that we're realistic in our chance of fighting for a world title again.

"I'm not similar to Ricky when he says he will go to 50 fights. I won't be having 50 fights, I guarantee you that! I'm not quite as mad as Ricky! I know I'm at the part of my career where I'm not planning on having another 10 fights."

While the options for where Crolla goes next aren't clear at the moment, there are a few that stick out. An opportunity may come against IBF champion Robert Easter or perhaps another all-British clash against Luke Campbell, who fell short - as Crolla did - against Jorge Linares. Or, as was talked about immediately after their fight, a rematch with Burns in Scotland.

"It has to make business sense to have a rematch with Ricky, otherwise what's the point," Crolla said.

"I'll just see what the best route is towards a world title. The fight with Ricky was a good fight, but it's a fight I thought I won. There's no doubting I won it."

If Crolla really isn't looking at getting to fight number 50 in his career, then it is realistic to say that the next 12-18 months might well be the final stages of a career that has hit the skids on a few occasions. Through a combination of bravery, desire, ability and hard work his dreams have been realised.

The win against Burns made it another night to remember at the Manchester Arena. He knows that one day, maybe soon, he will have to take a bit of time just to let it all sink in.

"It feels like so much has happened. I'm just really grateful for the opportunities and the support I've been given since that night [he was attacked].

"I'll spend a bit of time with my family, and maybe I will try and make a bit of time for myself to think of that. I'm so grateful and thankful for it all, because it's all happened so fast."

And while Crolla may yet get the opportunity to become a double world champion in 2018 or even 2019, his promoter Eddie Hearn took a step towards making an impact in the future of the lightweight division by signing British champion Lewis Ritson.

Ritson fought on the Crolla-Burns undercard and caught many people's attention - including Hearn's - with his utterly dominant display against Robbie Barrett ending the Yorkshireman's reign in the seventh round of his first defence.

"I was very, very impressed," said Crolla who watched the card he headlined a few days after.

"I sparred him when he was with Billy [Nelson] I said to him he's a handful. He's a very good fighter and he showed that. He looked fantastic. He has a very exciting future. He's going to be crowd-pleasing. I think he's a great signing for Matchroom."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dle on 10-19-2017

Cotto May have been embarrassed by being outboxed by a smaller guy as Mikey.

Comment by RJJ-94-02=GOAT on 10-18-2017

[QUOTE=FinitoxDinamita;18144637]Nobody but the brits give rat's azz about this bumass one dollar crolla. I just wanna see verdejo fight this guy flanagan.[/QUOTE] I'm a Brit myself and completely agree with you. No real U.K. boxing fans wanted that BS fight…

Comment by FinitoxDinamita on 10-18-2017

Nobody but the brits give rat's azz about this bumass one dollar crolla. I just wanna see verdejo fight this guy flanagan.

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