Manchester was the scene of Anthony Crolla’s (29-4-3, 12KOs) second world title challenge. The main event pitted the ‘pride of Manchester’ against the WBA world lightweight champion Darleys Perez (32-1-1, 20KOs).
The opening rounds were very cagey, with both fighters not wanting to make any mistakes. Perez seemed to be showing his class with his share of counters, but one shot in the fifth round changed all that.
As Crolla trapped Perez on the ropes, he landed a peach of a left hook to the body. The Colombian sank to the ground in agony and his world title had been ripped from him.
Celebrations began in Manchester as ‘Million dollar’ Crolla was crowned world champion. The stoppage came at 2.30 in the fifth round in what was scheduled to be a twelve round fight.
The chief support pitted Isaac Lowe (11-0, 4KOs) against ‘ruthless’ Ryan Doyle (11-1, 6KOs) for the English featherweight title. Both of the undefeated fighters started sharply, with Doyle sinking the more meaningful shots. The fight continued in this manner, with both fighters having varied successes at different parts of the fight. The contest eventually ended as a draw with Lowe retaining his belt, the scorecards reading 96-95 to Doyle, 97-93 to Lowe and 95-95 making it a draw.
Hot prospect Ryan Burnett (11-0, 9KOs) started quickly in his British title contest, dropping fellow challenger Jason Booth (38-13, 15KOs) in round one. The knockdown seemed to encourage Booth further though as he grew into the fight the longer it went on. Burnett was too good for Booth, and won after twelve rounds with the scorecards showing a decisive 120-107, 120-107, 120-107.
The first televised fight of the night was contested by Tyrone Nurse (31-2-1, 6KOs) and Chris Jenkins (16-0-1, 8KOs) for the vacant British super-lightweight title. The first three rounds were very cagey, with Jenkins sustaining a cut to the side of the head in the third. Nurse’s defence seemed to elude the attacks of Jenkins, with the Welsh man continually on the front foot. The first major action of the fight came in the sixth round, with Jenkins landing a peach of right hand put Nurse on the canvas. After the knockdown Nurse was too elusive for Jenkins to deal with, eventually leading to a 115-112, 115-112, 116-111 unanimous decision for the man from Huddesfield, winning the coverted Lord Lonsdale belt.
The fourth fight of the night saw Epsom’s Charie Edwards (5-0, 2KOs) produce a devastating sixth round stoppage over Liverpool’s Phil Smith (6-1, 0KOs), with a short sharp right hook finishing the Liverpudlian. This fight was the first defence of Edwards’ flyweight English title, and he looked sharp with his footwork and the power he managed to produced at short range.
Exciting young prospect Marcus Morrison (7-0, 5KOs) scored a 58-57 over the very game Simone Lucas (6-26, 1KOs) of Nottingham. Morrison seemed to control the fight with the pure volume of punches he was throwing, but credit has to go to Lucas for making the fight very competitive.
Brian Rose (27-3, 3KOs) controlled his eight round contest with Ruslans Pojonisevs (16-36-1, 11KOs) recording a 80-72 victory, although the visitor never looked troubled by Rose’s power.
Liam Taylor (12-1, 4KOs) started the night with a second round stoppage of Hingarian Imre Simon (6-15, 1KOs) with relative ease, dominating the contest up to that point.