For many boxers, the prospect of facing an opponent on their own turf can fill them with trepidation. For Anthony Crolla, though, it puts him in his element.
The Manchester lightweight, 26, challenges Derry Mathews for the vacant Commonwealth crown at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on March 30.
Crolla believes having the crowd against him will provide the spur for gaining revenge over the man who relieved him of the Lonsdale belt in their thrilling first encounter last year.
“I wouldn’t want this fight any other way,” Anthony said. “He came to me last time and took the title from me in my backyard.
“Now I’ve got the chance to do the same and I’m going to make sure that’s something I do.
“I know I’m not going to get the best reception from his fans on the night, but that doesn’t matter. Once the bell goes it’s just the two of us in the ring.
“A lot of my best performances have come when I’ve been the away fighter in the lion’s den.
“Except for in Prizefighter, I’ve always performed well in Liverpool. When I fought John Watson I was in the same position as in this fight and that turned out to be one of my best ever wins.”
On top of the incentive of revenge and the Commonwealth title, victory for Crolla will likely put him in line for a shot a newly-crowned British champion Martin Gethin.
Crolla made one successful defence of the belt when it was in his possession and is itching to win it back.
“I’m sure the fans will want to see the winner of me and Derry Mathews in with Martin Gethin,” he said.
“Gethin had a fantastic win against Ben Murphy last time out and I’m sure our styles would gel for a cracker. It’s a fight I’d like.
“He’s pretty old school in the way that he hung around for his chance and then took it. I was ringside that night and I was very impressed.
“But first and foremost, I’ve got to think about Derry Mathews.”
February 12, 2013