By Scott Gilfoid: WBA lightweight champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) has a nearly impossible task ahead of him I defending his title in less than a month against his mandatory challenger Ismael Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KOs) on May 7 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.
Crolla, 29, says he’s studied the hard hitting Barroso’s previous fights, and he’s spotted things in his style that he thinks he can exploit on 5/7 when he gets him inside the ring. Crolla isn’t saying what those things are unfortunately, He’s leaving it up to the boxing fans to guess what holes he’s seen in Barroso’s game that he thinks he can take advantage of.
In looking at Barroso’s last fight against Kevin Mitchell, I can’t see too many things he did wrong in that fight. I mean, I saw things that a fighter with a lot of punching power could take advantage of, to be sure. But I didn’t see anything the feather-fisted Crolla could take advantage of. He doesn’t hit hard enough to get the attention of a destroyer like Barroso in my view.
“Barroso is not just a crude slugger which is what we all thought he was going to be against Kevin Mitchell, but there is a bit more about him,” said Crolla to skysports.com. “I’ve got to take him out of his comfort zone and not let him hunt me down like he likes [to do] and fight at a tempo he can’t settle down in.”
I think I have an idea of what Crolla will be doing to take Barroso out of his comfort zone on May 7, and it’s not going to be pretty. I see Crolla resorting to the old punch and grab technique to keep Barroso from being able to throw punches. When you see a fighter that is totally outclassed like Crolla appears to be, you wind up seeing desperation on the part of the weaker, outclassed fighter. That desperation leads to the weaker fighter using gimmicks like clinching constantly to try and stall the fight out each round to the point where the more talented fighter only has a limited amount of time to throw anything at all before he’s grabbed in a clinch. We saw that with Kell Brook clinching all night long against the arguably more talented Shawn Porter in their fight in 2014. It worked in that fight because the referee didn’t do his job by disqualifying Brook for his obsessive clinching.
If the referee isn’t going to do his job by first taking points away from Crolla and then disqualifying him if he won’t stop holding against Barroso, then we could see the fight end up as a messy, dirty affair where there’s not much of any action at all. Gosh, I hope we don’t see a fight like that because it would just be awful to look at, but that’s about the only thing Crolla can do to slow down the freight train like Barroso.
Crolla is the underdog against Barroso and rightfully so. He’s facing a much bigger puncher than anyone he’s ever faced before, and he’s coming off of an impressive 5th round knockout win over Kevin Mitchell last December. I think there are a lot of boxing fans who would favor Mitchell to defeat Crolla, even now after Mitchell blasted out by Barroso and has subsequently retired from the sport.
“You only have to look down my record to see the better the opponent, the higher I raise my level and I will look forward to doing it again on May 7,” said Crolla. “This is right my up my street. I don’t want to give too much away but I have studied Barrosa’s fights and there are certain things that on the night we can capitalize on,” said Crolla.
I get the feeling that Crolla is trying to convince himself that he’s good enough to beat Barroso. He sounds like he’s trying to talk himself into believing he can win. I’m sorry but I do not see Crolla winning this fight. Yeah, Crolla can talk himself up as much as he wants but at the end of the day, I see him getting blasted into smithereens on May 7. I’m just saying. Barroso is a very, very good fighter, as we saw in his demolition job he did on a very good fighter in Mitchell. The only other fighter I’ve seen do that to Mitchell is Michael Katsidis, but didn’t do it right off the bat the way that Barroso did.