By Terence Dooley
Kieran Farrell is being kept in hospital overnight after collapsing in the ring following his English lightweight title defeat to former British champion Anthony Crolla at Manchester's Bowler's Arena; Farrell lost the 10-round fight by unanimous decision. The Heywood-based boxer started brightly and his high work rate worked in his favour in the early going. Crolla, though, landed the better quality punches in a fight that was keenly fought, but swung in the 26-year-old's favour after the fourth round and it stayed that way despite Farrell's all-out attacks.
Farrell looked jaded when the final bell sounded, his legs gave way in the corner and he collapsed onto his stool, and then the floor, before being carried out on a stretcher. There were some scary moments, particularly when the 22-year-old grimaced in pain when on the canvas, but he applauded his fans when being stretchered into the ambulance and, thankfully, is now on the mend. However, he will be kept in hospital overnight as a precaution due to a small bleed and some swelling on the brain, which is normal after this type of battle.
Leonard Gunning of www.boxing-ireland.com accompanied Farrell and his trainer John Breen to the hospital, he updated BoxingScene about the situation during a late night phone call. “Kieran's up talking and they're keeping him in overnight,” said Gunning.
“The doctor's gave him a scan. They said there's a small bleed on the brain and a bit of swelling, but you would get that after a fight like that. They'll do a scan tomorrow to see if it has stopped and the swelling has gone down. He's talking to people so that's good.”
"What a tough fighter Kieran is,” said Crolla when speaking to BoxingScene in the dressing room after the fight. “The main thing is that he's OK, and of course he can come back strong from this. I know how dedicated he is, he lives the sport and will be a champion – he'll be back. This is a sport, it is not nice to see that type of thing happen, but the main thing tonight is that there's no celebration or anything – we just want to know that he's fine.”
Farrell moved to 14-1 (3) after the loss, Crolla is 25-4 (9) and back in the title hunt, but the quotes, action and other incidentals can be put aside for now. We should instead take a moment to be thankful for small mercies and wish Farrell all the very best – as Crolla said, he'll come back stronger.
Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.