By Shaun Brown
WBA lightweight champion Darleys Perez told Anthony Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher to let his fighter to do the talking at today’s final press conference in Manchester ahead of their rematch on Saturday night.
In a week where Gallagher has been heavily involved in a war of words with Carl Frampton’s team, a few months shy from the eagerly anticipated Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg world super bantamweight unification dust-up on Feb 27, 2016, Colombia’s Perez had his say after Gallagher stated: “Anthony has to take his chance – it’s now or never. We hurt him before and we will again.”
Crolla's career was nearly ended last December after a vicious attack left the popular Mancunian with a fractured skull when the boxer confronted burglars near his property.
Seven months later Crolla returned to the ring to face Perez and left with a contentious majority draw despite the champion having two points deducted for low blows.
“What happened, happened,” said Perez about their first fight on July 18.
“This is a new fight. Crolla is a great fighter, I am more than ready for a war on Saturday.”
“Saturday I get a second chance and will grasp it with both hands,” Crolla told the media.
“I see many more exchanges this time. I’m ready for war. This is round 13. We are well matched. Tactics were spot on last time. It’s more business like this time.”
A crowd of around 8,000 is expected for this Saturday’s bill at the Manchester Arena which also features the Matchroom debut of the exciting Ryan Burnett who faces Jason Booth for the vacant British bantamweight title.
“As a pro I’ve yet to show my boxing ability,” said the Adam Booth trained Northern Irishman.
“Against Jason I’m confident I will. No pressure on me, it’s meant to be.”
The 38-year-old Booth put his nickname to good use by simply saying “I will be ‘2Smooth’ for him.”
In another rematch the slick skills of Tyrone Nurse locks horns once again with the non-stop style of Chris Jenkins when the two men meet once again for the vacant British light welterweight title. Their last encounter back in July, on the Perez-Crolla 1 show, ended in a hugely entertaining majority draw.
“May the best man win, but it will definitely be me this time,” said the confident Nurse.
“(I) feel much sharper this time,” said Jenkins.
“Had some great sparring at Tony Sims’ gym – I’m ready.”
The rest of the card features Isaac Lowe defending his English featherweight title in an intriguing affair against Ryan Doyle. The unbeaten Charlie Edwards defends his recently acquired English flyweight title against Phil Smith while there are run-outs for former IBF world bantamweight champion, Stuart Hall, former light middleweight world title challenger Brian Rose as well as Liam Taylor (who lost to Nurse in April) and touted prospect Marcus Morrison
Shaun Brown is Boxing Scene’s UK Editor. Follow him on Twitter @sbrown2pt0 or contact him at [email protected]