Boxing


Crolla fears KO king Carl

ANTHONY ‘MILLION DOLLAR’ CROLLA will be filled with fear when he defends his English super-featherweight title against Carl Johanneson next month.

Their much anticipated ‘War of the Roses’ in the Premier Suite at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Saturday 26th February will also be a final eliminator for the British crown held by Gary Sykes.

Johanneson has won 29 of his 33 fights and among his victims are reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-featherweight champion Ricky Burns and Michael Gomez.

Mancunian Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher said: “For a final eliminator Anthony couldn’t have picked a worst opponent than Johanneson. He is a top class operator.

“Carl can wallop with either hand, spent a lot of years learning his trade on America’s east coast and brings lots of experience.

“There will be a massive fear factor for Anthony because he realises that one mistake and Carl has to power to knock him out.

“I have heard people say Carl is shot, but that is rubbish. He has had a break and comeback refreshed.

“He easily handled Burns who is now a world champion and must be desperate to prove that performance was no fluke.”

Even when Leeds puncher Johanneson has lost, the defeats have come at the highest level against men like Kevin Mitchell and Levan Kirakosyan.

Crolla’s sole loss in 21 contests came against Sykes in May 2009, but he is undefeated in six fights under Gallagher and coming off a career best win against Hatton Promotions stable-mate Andy Morris.

And despite Crolla facing a formidable task against the former British champion, Gallagher remains confident.

He added: “Crolla has proven himself as the best uncrowned British champ and when he wins the title there will be nobody to defend against because he has beaten every contender.

“His results and performances since the loss to Sykes could not have been any better. He is Man on a mission this year.”

The show is being televised live by Sky Sports and headlined by Stephen Foster Jr’s first defence of his European super-featherweight against mandatory contender Ermano Fegatilli.

It is also hoped that unbeaten St Helens boxer Craig Lyon will also risk his English super-bantamweight title if a selected opponent can be found.

Also fighting on the bill is Mancunian Olympic star Joe Murray. He is up against tough Frenchman Daniel Kodjo Sassou who recently took Scott Quigg 12 rounds.

Others hopefuls on the undercard include Belarusian star Sergey Rabchenko, Keiron Maher, Richard Towers and Sheffield’s big ticket seller Adam Etches.

Tickets for’ Night of Champions’ £35, £55 (Ringside) and £75 VIP Ringside, www.brandhatton.com /0844 847 2500/0161 775 7500

Article posted on 20.01.2011



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