WBA Lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs) made weight at 134 lbs., while challenger Anthony Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KOs), checked in at 134.5 lbs. Perez and Crolla fight for the second time inside of five months from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England this Saturday, Nov. 21.
U.S.boxing fans can enjoy the rematch on AWE. Also televised on that card will be Martin Murray’s fight against Arthur Abraham For Murray, it’s seven years after he claimed the Prizefighter Middleweight’s trophy.
Murray’s success that night came at York Hall in Bethnal Green, a far cry from the luxurious surroundings of the TUI Arena that will play host to his fourth World title shot against ‘King Arthur’.
But the St Helens star says much of his success in the ring can be traced back to November 22, 2008, where he beat Joe Rea and Danny Butler before edging out Cello Renda in a bruising final in east London.
“I was 9-0 and not at all well-known going into that night,” said Murray. “I boxed well and then the final against Cello was a classic, and from that night onwards my profile grew with it being live on Sky Sports.
“I’ve got great and fond memories of that night – especially the money! It did me the world of good and it’s mad to think that since then I’ve had three World title fights and I’m ready for my fourth.
“I’ve poured every ounce into the camp for this one and I sound like a broken record, but this feels like the right time for me and crucially, the right weight for me.”
The Super-Middleweight division remains one of the most attractive on the World stage and Britain is enjoying a purple-patch for talent right now. James DeGale MBE defends his IBF crown in Canada next weekend while Callum Smith and George Groves are massive fights out there in 2016. Murray admits that those fights appeal to him, but he has to get the crown first, and failure to do so could even see him consider his future.
“James has mentioned the fight but he cannot look past Bute and I cannot look past Abraham,” said Murray. “I know I can win this and if I do, there are big fights out there for me, if I don’t though, it could spell the end of my career – just because I really feel that this is my chance to finally get my hands on a World title.
“I would have to weigh things up if I don’t get the decision, so a lot rests on what happens tomorrow. I am not ready to retire, I think I am only just getting into my prime, so that is another motivation to get the win. This is the fourth one and the most confident I am of winning. I would be more gutted to not win this one than the others. I really feel that I am going to win and I have banked on that.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Mitchell will face Ismael Barroso for the WBA Interim Lightweight title at The O2 in London on December 12, and that may lead to a showdown with Crolla.
The clash takes Mitchell back to the scene of his epic WBC World title clash with Jorge Linares in May, and the popular Londoner will need to be at his very best at the sold-out venue against the visitor.
Unbeaten Barroso holds an enviable record of 18 wins with 17 of them coming inside the distance, and the reward for both men on the night is huge – as the victor must face the winner of Saturday’s rematch between WBA king Darleys Perez and Anthony Crolla within 90 days for the World title.
‘El Tigre’s’ impressive KO record is a daunting prospect for Mitchell, but the 31 year old believes he can beat the southpaw and hopes that will set up an all-British showdown with Anthony Crolla in 2016.
“This is a massive fight for me,” said Mitchell. “Barroso is a strong southpaw with power in both hands, but I am confident that I can smother that threat, impose my skills on him and get the win on another great night at The O2.
“I thought that Anthony won the first fight with Perez. I am sure he was gutted but the whole country is behind him and nobody more than me. He’s a great guy and a great fighter, and I’ll be cheering him on tomorrow – if he gets the win and I beat Barroso, we’ll serve up a massive fight in the spring.”