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Crolla gets title shot against WBA 135lb champ Darleys Perez on 7/18

By Scott Gilfoid: Britain’s Anthony Crolla (29-4-2, 11 KOs) will be getting a title shot against WBA World lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1, 20 KOs) two months from now on July 18th at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. I’m not sure that this is a good fight for Crolla given that he’s coming off of a fractured skull that he suffered in an attack in the UK when he battled burglars unsuccessfully during their robbery of Crolla’s neighbor.

It’s a nice story that Crolla gets a title shot after all that he’s gone though, as he was supposed to have gotten a world title shot against WBA Super World lightweight champion Richar Abril earlier this year. However, I think it’s a bad match-up for Crolla right now because Perez is a very good fighter and Crolla is coming off of a bad injury.

Even at his best, Crolla struggled to defeat limited fighters like Gavin Rees in 2013. I had Rees winning that fight, and I thought that was incredibly poor scoring of the fight. Crolla also was given a controversial draw in his rematch against Derry Mathews in 2013. I had Mathews winning that fight. Crolla did enough to lose to both Mathews and Rees by a close margin in my book, no way did I see him beating either of them. That’s the whole problem.

If Crolla isn’t good enough to beat even Rees and Mathews without controversy, then what in the heck is he doing inside the ring with a talent like Darleys Perez from Colombia? I don’t think Crolla deserves this fight, and I don’t think he’s going to do well at all. Even with his UK fans cheering him on, I see Crolla taking a beating in this fight and either getting knocked out or badly outpointed.

Perez was beaten by Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2013. It was a case of Gamboa being too fast, too powerful and too talented for Perez. But it would be the same situation if Crolla were put in the ring with Gamboa. That would be a sick mismatch in my view. Gamboa may have lost to Terence Crawford recently, but he’d do very well against a guy like Crolla.

Crolla is coming off of a 6 round points decision over a fighter named Gyorgy Mizsei Jr. (20-11) last November. Before that, Crolla fought to a 3 round technical draw against Gamaliel Diaz last September. The fight was stopped due to a cut that Diaz had suffered.

“Perez is a great fighter and I know I am going to have to be at my very best to beat him, but with everything that has happened, it feels like I am destined to win the belt and I will be busting a gut in the gym to be in the best shape I have even been in on the night to get that belt.”

I see Crolla as a good domestic level lightweight, but I don’t think he belongs in the same ring with Darleys Perez. Short of another controversial draw or victory for Crolla, I see him losing every round of the fight against Perez. A knockout loss is a possibility as well for Crolla, but likely he’ll get totally dominated. Perez is a much better fighter in my estimation.

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