Heading into his showdown with WBA World Lightweight Champion Anthony Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) this Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK, WBA #1-rated contender and interim champion Ismael Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KOs) and his team wish to offer their sincere respect to the “future former champion.”
“He is a true champion,” said Barroso of Crolla. “There were easier domestic fights for more money he could have taken, but he wanted to do the right thing and face his top challenger. I admire him for that.”
Unfortunately, the murderous punching Barroso, of El Tigre, Venezuela, says he’ll be ending the brave Englishman’s run as champion on Saturday night.
“He (Crolla) won the WBA title by an upset last year and he’s a likeable man,” continued Barroso, “but all good things come to an end. When they help him up after the fight Saturday, he will have all my respect and I wish him very well for the rest of his life.”
Greg Cohen, promoter of Barroso, agrees with his fighter’s sentiment.
“Anthony is a true champion, but he’s in way over his head in this one. And him being in his home country and the fans backing him, that only makes Ismael that much more determined. Crolla has had a great and surprising run as champion, but there’s not much anyone can do for him in the face of the kind of power he’s up against.”