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Darleys Perez defends against Anthony Crolla this Saturday in Manchester, UK

By Scott Gilfoid: #11 WBA Anthony Crolla (29-4-2, 11 KOs) is taking a real big step up in class this Saturday night against WBA World lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1, 20 KOs) on July 18th at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. This is a very dangerous fight for the 28-year-old Crolla.

It’s not that the 31-year-old Perez is an invincible fighter, as we know he’s not from seeing him get easily beaten two years ago by Yuriorkis Gamboa, but the fact is Perez is dangerous for limited fighters.

I think that’s where Crolla comes in. He’s a good domestic level guys and maybe even European level, but we’re talking about him facing a good solid world class fighter in the Colombian Perez, and I suspect we’re going to see Crolla take a beating in this fight and maybe even get knocked out.

“Some people will say it’s meant to be, but I can’t go in there and let the occasion get to me,” Crolla said via the “I’ve got to go in there and keep a cool head because if I go in there, fighting on emotion, it’ll all go wrong for me.”

Crolla is going to have to let his hands go to try outwork Perez, because if he stays on the outside and is too selective with his punches, he’s going to struggle in this fight. Perez doesn’t throw a lot of punches, which is his main weakness. He thinks too much, and waits around for ages before he lets his hands go.

Perez kin of reminds me a lot of former three division world champion Alexis Arguello with the way he waits around to land big shots. The main difference is Perez doesn’t have the kind of power that Arguello once had. Perez does have excellent punching power though, and I suspect it might be more than enough to beat the likes of Crolla.

Gamboa was able to beat Perez by landing pot shots, and fast combinations all night long. Gamboa used a lot of movement to avoid Perez’s shots, and it worked pretty well because he won almost every round of the fight. Of course, there’s a world of difference between Gamboa and a limited fighter like Crolla.

There’s no way that Crolla will be able to do what an Olympic gold medalist like Gamboa was able to do against Perez, because he doesn’t have his blistering hand speed, huge punching power, or his ability to move around the ring. If you strip all those qualities away from Gamboa, you’re left with Crolla, and I don’t think that’s going to nearly enough to beat the likes of Perez.

Crolla has some nice wins on his resume over the likes of Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster, John Murray and Willie Limond. Unfortunately for Crolla, he’s never beaten anyone good, and some of his wins and draws were from fights that he appeared to lose. You can make an argument that Crolla should have at least another three more defeats on his resume. I had Crolla losing to Rees, Mathews in their rematch Juan Montiel.

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