Anthony Crolla scored a thrilling 10th round stoppage win over John Murray in a battle of local fighters in Manchester, England on Saturday night.
Crolla and Murray are good friends outside the ring but that friendship was put on hold Saturday as the pair battled it out in a bid to secure bragging rights in Manchester.
Murray made a speedy start, taking the fight to Crolla from the off but Crolla took a step back and worked his jab followed by straight right hands.
A big right hand by Murray stunned Crolla in the fourth round, a result of early constant pressure. Crolla, however battles back, his accurate jab causing damage to Murray’s right eye.
As Murray tired late on Crolla grew in confidence as he began to connect with more and punches.
Crolla decked the exhausted Murray with a left hand but Murray managed to beat the count only for Crolla to wade in again with a series of punches to force referee Terry O’Connor to jump in and stop the contest. .
"It was even tougher than I expected," Crolla told Sky Sports. "No matter how tough that looked, me and John were the luckiest men in this arena.
"I prepared for this fight like no other, John put the fear of god into me. I remember how tough those sparring sessions were and I knew I had to keep a cool head in a hot kitchen."
Murray was gracious in defeat: "I gave it my all, I was the best I’ve been in training and he’s beaten me at my best," Murray told Sky Sports. "I want to take my hat off to Anthony because he was bang on.
April 20, 2014