Crolla expects Darleys Perez to start fast on Saturday
(Anthony Crolla seen here pulling down on Darleys Perez’s head in the 12th round, resulting in Perez throwing a low blow that cost him a point) By Scott Gilfoid: #10 WBA fringe contender Anthony Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KOs) will be getting a second bite out of the apple this Saturday night against WBA World lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs) in their rematch on 11/21 from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.
Crolla, 28, was basically saved from defeat last July when referee Howard John Foster took points away from Perez in consecutive rounds in the 11th and 12th rounds for throwing punches that strayed a bit low. The fight was then scored as a draw. However, Crolla was very, very lucky those points were deducted from Perez, because a lot of referees would have let that slide, especially in the 12th round, when Crolla clearly pulled Perez’s head down as he was throwing a punch, causing him to land a shot low. Instead of the World Boxing Association ruling that the referee had blown a call in the 12th round on the low blow, they ordered a rematch with Crolla and Perez.
Referee Howard John Foster must have been looking elsewhere because a blind man could have seen that Crolla pulled down on the back of Perez’s head while he was throwing the punch that went low. All I can say is it was a very, very poor call from Howard Foster. Hopefully there’s a different referee working the fight that has his eyes open for crucial game-changing calls, and hopefully we don’t have another referee that has such an impact on a fight like we saw with Foster.
You hate to have the referee play such an integral part in a fight down the home stretch like we saw last time. Like I said, without Foster taking points away from the visiting fighter Perez in the 11th and 12th rounds last July, Crolla would have walked out of the ring a loser instead of getting a draw out of the fight. But what you really hate to see is when a referee blows an important call like Foster did in the 12th round, when he took a point away from Perez for hitting low when he was getting his head pulled down by Crolla while in the act of punching.
It was pretty clever the way Crolla pulled Perez’s head down. Crolla took both of his forearms and put them at the top of Perez’s head and then pulled downward while he was throwing a punch. It totally visible, but the referee royally blew it.
“Every time I watch it, it doesn’t get any easier. I still think I won it, but I can make it right on Saturday,” Crolla said to skysports.com. “I am sure he’s going to start fast and try to impose himself on me, to try to show that it wasn’t him at his best last time.”
Well, it’s obvious that Perez is going to start fast on Saturday night, because he’s already said he wants to take the referee and judges out of the equation this time.
Perez doesn’t want to go in there thinking that he has to fight not only Crolla but all three judges and the referee in order to keep his belt. That’s why Perez plans on turning them all into spectators by jumping on Crolla and looking to knock him out quickly so that he doesn’t find himself on the receiving end again of another controversial decision.
“They were lucky to get away with the belt last time and they may not be so lucky this time. I’ve got to expect a better Perez and I do. I know I have to be better too,” Crolla said.
No, the one who was lucky last time was Crolla, who should have and would have lost the fight if not for two points being taken away from Perez during the championship rounds. When you see a fighter losing two points during the championship rounds like Perez was last July, it puts them in a hole that they can’t work out of.
If the referee had taken the points off earlier in the fight, it would have been easier for Perez to jump on Crolla in the following rounds and hammer him into oblivion to make sure that he made up for those controversial point deductions, but for the points to be deducted in the 11th and 12th rounds, it made it impossible for Perez to make up for the loss of points to ensure he won the fight. What’s interesting is that Crolla didn’t have points deducted too, because I saw him landing quite a few low blows that didn’t result in him losing points.
Had I been the referee, I would have made sure that both guys were deducted points, and I wouldn’t have taken a point off from Perez in the 12th round for throwing low due to Crolla yanking his head down while he was throwing the punch.