Weights: Crolla 134, Perez 134
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA World lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs) and #10 WBA fringe contender Anthony Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KOs) both made weight on Friday for their fight this Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.
Both fighters came in at 134lbs for their World Boxing Association ordered rematch on Sky Sports. Crolla and Perez fought to a 12 round draw last July in Manchester, but shortly after the fight ended, Crolla’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport appealed the decision to the WBA, and they chose to order a rematch.
I think the decision was a bad one, yes. I think Perez did more than enough to deserve the victory, and I think the referee Howard Foster blew a call in the 12th round, when he ruled that Perez had thrown a low blow. Perez had his head pulled down by Crolla when he was throwing a body punch, and that was clearly the reason why he hit him low.
“I’m really happy. It’s been a fantastic camp and I’m in the best shape of my career,” Crolla said on Friday to skysports.com about his fight this Saturday night against Perez. “I’m ready to be world champion on Saturday night.”
If Crolla is smart, he’ll be looking to try and move around the ring to avoid the hard hitting Perez, because the champion has already said that he’s going to be looking to take the judges out of the fight on Saturday night by him knocking Crolla out. Perez doesn’t want to have to deal with the judges having control over him in this fight.
Perez obviously realizes that as the visiting fighter, he’s going to have to really put a hurting on Crolla, the home fighter, in order for him to walk out of the Manchester Arena still the champion with his WBA title. That’s exactly why Perez says he’s going to be looking for a knockout on Saturday. He doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of another controversial decision like he was last time.
It might be in Perez’s best interest to make sure he doesn’t throw body shots, because I can see a scenario where he might find himself getting points deducted right off the bat if he throws anything low in the fight. The last thing that Perez needs in this fight is to dominate Crolla like last time, but then to find himself losing rounds due to the referee taking off points left and right from him for low blows.