18th September 2011

Crolla and absent trainer Joe Gallagher winning British title pic BB
British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla had to settle for a split  a decision points win against Juan Montiel on his American debut on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s master class win against Victor Ortitz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Crolla was a clear winner though and the judge who gave it to Montiel 77-75 must have been watching another fight. However the other two judges had it, 78-74 and 77-75, in his favour taking his record to 22-2, 9KOs.

Crolla had to go into this fight without his trainer Joe Gallagher who was in Liverpool with the Smith brothers, who were fighting at the Olympia on a Frank Warren show. Stephen Smith was knocked-out by Lee Selby in the main event back home and Crolla would have known of his gym mates loss going into his US bout.
Gallagher was straight on the phone to make his trans Atlantic call to Crolla as soon as he stepped out of the ring after Smith’s loss, giving his charge some last minute words of encouragment and support.
‘Million Dollar’ Crolla, performed well on Money’s show against the come forward Mexican, who pushed forward trying to take the Mancunian out of the rythem he was setting. But Crolla boxed well enough to always be in control of the fight.

Crolla, tucked up to absored Montiels cuffing hooks, he boxed well and fought hard countering on the back foot and then pushing onto Montiel when he felt like. Crolla’s started letting his punches go in the third, landing good combination of punches that un-settled Montiel.

Crolla’s accurate punches were winning him the fight and he continued to have the edge in all departments opening up a cut to Montiel’s right eye in round five. Crolla boxed to his manager and stand in corner man Michael Marsdens instructions and ran out a comfortable winner, tasting the Las Vegas atmosphere that he will want more of in the future.