Anthony Crolla moved a step nearer a crack at the world title at the Bolton Arena in the north of England on Saturday night when he out-pointed former WBA champ Gavin Rees via 12 round majority decision.
Crolla edged a hard fought contest after stepping up a gear in the latter stages of the fight. Two judges made Crolla the winner by scores of 116-113 and 115-113 while the third official made the fight even at 115 a piece.
Crolla, who improved his record to 26-4-1-(9),claimed the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title. Rees drops to 37-3-1-(18).
Rees made a fast start by taking the first couple of rounds as Crolla took time to find his range. Rees dug in and scored with a few heavy left hooks but Crolla started to hit back more in the third round with an overhand right that caught Rees on several occasions, opening up a cut by the left eye.
Both fighter experienced success as the fight edged one way and then the other until Rees began to tire around the seventh round.
Rees seemed fortunate to not have a point deducted late in the fight after cuffing Crolla on the back of the head. Rees edged himself in front at times but Crolla kept the pace up and although it was a clash of heads that opened up another cut on Rees’ right eyebrow, the Croll nicked the eighth and ninth rounds.
Rees rained in some heavy single shots in the 10th but by now he was obviously feeling the pace and looked exhausted. Whilst Rees backed off in the 11th Crolla seized the moment to edged ahead and edged a very tight fight.
June 29, 2013