Anthony Crolla and John Murray will clash at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on April 19.
The Manchester Lightweight duo battle it out in a shootout for a major fight shot in the summer, and the former gym pals both told today’s press conference that their friendship will be put to one side for the night as they meet in what promises to be a fiery encounter for the city in one of Britain’s most iconic boxing venues.
Crolla has been in fine form of late with wins over Gavin Rees in Bolton and Stephen Foster at Phones 4u Arena, and was set to fight John Simpson in Glasgow on the Ricky Burns undercard. A cut in sparring ruled him out of the bout but Murray stepped in, and after stopping Simpson in the second round through a series of crunching body shots, the former World title challenger landed the shot at Crolla he craved after a war of words with his former trainer and Crolla’s guide Joe Gallagher.
“This is the one that I have always wanted,” said Murray. “I hope that in the build-up people concentrate on us and not Joe Gallagher, we’re doing the fighting.
“This is the reason I turned pro, I wanted to be on big bills in Manchester – Anthony and I are friends but we won’t be until after the fight, I want to put on a destructive performance and get back up to World level. I’m training hard and living the life right and I’m hungry for success now. I think this has fight of the year potential, it’s a battle of Manchester and it’s going to be something very special.”
“I went to the MEN Arena when I was younger and dreamt of being in massive fights in there,” said Crolla. “This is the biggest Manchester boxing derby there is and I am so excited to be in it. I was gutted not to box in Glasgow but it’s worked out fantastic, John and I have had lots of great sparring sessions and if they are anything to go by it will be a great fight.”
Crolla and Murray provide the chief support on a great night of action in Manchester, as Bury’s Scott Quigg defends his WBA World Super Bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Nehomar Cermeno.
Olympic Gold medallists Anthony Joshua MBE and Luke Campbell MBE both fight in their sixth contests in the paid ranks, former IBF undefeated Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell continues to plot his path back to a world title, Tyrone Nurse will face Tyler Goodjohn English Light Welterweight title, Josh Warrington defends his Commonwealth Featherweight title and Hosea Burton is set for his first title fight.
The bout will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK.
March 5, 2014