Anthony Crolla talked to BritishBoxers this week about his upcoming fight against Derry Mathews, a rematch of their 2012 contender for fight of the year. Crolla lost the first fight after he was stopped in the 6th round losing his Lonsdale belt.

The rematch will take place on the same bill as Tony Bellew’s WBC final eliminator against Isaac Chilemba on the 30th March at Liverpool’s Echo Arena and both will be contesting the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title, in a fight that is expected to live up to their first battle.

Crolla, 26, says he cant wait to get back in with Mathews and wishes the fight was sooner as he aims to put right a wrong and seek revenge over his Northwest rival. The first fight was held in Crolla’s backyard in Greater Manchester, while this time it is Mathews who will have the home advantage, but Crolla insists that after losing to Mathews last time, it wont happen again!

“On March 30 your going to see a different Anthony Crolla than you did in April last year.” Crolla said. “No excuses because I prepared well last time, but I just walked onto a great shot, panic set in and I did alot of things wrong that night and fare play to Derry he took advantage of it, but I wont be letting that happen again.

“I was always thinking would I get the chance to avenge the loss to Derry and know I’m lucky enough to get the chance I just cant wait and I wish it was sooner.”

In this exclusive interview; Crolla also speeks about his ill fated clash with fellow Mancunian Kieran Farrell, a fight that took place in December last year, producing 2012’s fight of the year, but which was over shadowed by the brain injury suffered by Farrell after their bruising 12 round toe-to-toe battle for the English belt.

Farrell made a full recovery, but he will never be able to box again and Crolla admits it has been difficult dealing with the aftermath and tells us; it hit him hard after realising Farrell had been rushed to hospital after the contest and then being told the  severity of the injury. After hearing that Farrell’s boxing career was over, Crolla revealed to us he was gutted saying; He was just a lad who wanted something so much and paid for it.

“I knew how much was riding on it and I knew I couldn’t afford to lose. I knew what I was capable of and it was one of my better performances.” Crolla explained.

“Kieran is a great fighter and would have beaten a lot of lightweights that night, he would have broke their heart, he was just relentless and he didn’t want to be denied. But I knew I had to stay calm stay composed. I stood with him early on, but then I knew my experience would take over in the second half of the fight.

“I didn’t sleep properly after the fight and Kieran was on my mind constantly. He was just a lad who wanted it so bad and I feel it’s like he got punished for wanting something so bad.

“People say to me it wasn’t my fault; and I know it wasn’t, but I still feel part of it because it was me who was in the ring with him that night.

“Ive spoke to Kieran since and when he found out he couldn’t box again and got the news he was devastated and I was devastated for him too, but it was cut short for him. I do believe he would have comeback to do really well. It’s just sad and you don’t wish that on anyone.

“He is going to stay in boxing and run his own gym and I said to Kieran if he shows half the determination he shown in boxing, setting up a gym and training fighters I know he will be successful.”

For the full interview with Anthony Crolla, including sparring footage from his gym, please view the video above, By Chris Maylett.
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