Manchester legend ready for ‘the final one’
Anthony Crolla will face Frank Urquiaga for the WBA Continental Lightweight title in his farewell fight at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Former Lightweight World Champion Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) fittingly returns to the scene of his greatest triumph to call the curtains on a memorable career after challenging pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko for the WBA and WBO Lightweight titles in Los Angeles earlier this year. 
The Mancunian hero won the WBA Lightweight crown against Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at Manchester Arena in November 2015 and successfully defended his title against Ismael Barroso at the same venue the following year. 

‘Million Dollar’ made his professional debut at Manchester Arena – then MEN Arena – back in 2006, outpointing Abdul Rashid. In a professional career spanning over 13 years Crolla has fought at the iconic North West venue a total of 13 times, and he is ready to say an emotional goodbye to his legion of fans next week.

“This is it, the final one,” said Crolla. “I’ve had so many great nights at the arena down the years, so I’m pleased to be finishing where it all started.

“Urquiaga knows this is his golden chance, a win against me and he throws his name further into the mix. I can’t let the emotions get to me, I’ve got a job to do first and foremost – I want to bow out with a win. 

“The support and atmosphere has always been special at the arena, I’m forever thankful. I’m determined to put on a show for one last time.”

“It’s a great honour to fight a warrior like Anthony Crolla in his last fight,” said Urquiaga. “Of course, it is a great opportunity for me to win and make a big step to the next level, where there are a lot of good British fighters such as Luke Campbell, Joe Cordina, Lee Selby and Ricky Burns. I’m working hard for this opportunity, I know that British fans are unbelievable, and I want to give them an unbelievable fight.”

“This is going to be a special moment for Anthony, Manchester and British Boxing,” said Eddie Hearn “Anthony has been one of the great success stories and the experiences he has given us all in that arena are ones we will never forget.

“It’s always difficult choosing the right time to walk away, especially when, as he has this camp, you are looking and feeling so good! We have had some long chats about the decision and this is it, all the effort and emotion into one last dance and one last title at his spiritual home.”

Crolla vs. Urquiaga is part of a huge night of action in Manchester. 

Main event sees Irish star Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) attempt to create history by becoming a two-weight World Champion as she takes on Christina Linardatou (12-1, 6 KOs) for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title, Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) steps up again to take on another former World title challenger in Blake Caparello (30-3-1, 13 KOs), Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight title against English Champion Jack Cullen (17-1, 8 KOs), Qais Ashfaq (7-0, 3 KOs) fights for his first pro title as he meets Joe Ham (16-1, 6 KOs)fortheWBA Continental Super-Bantamweight crown, recent Matchroom Boxing signing Terri Harper (8-0, 5 KOs) makes the first defence of her IBO World title against Vivian Obenauf (14-5, 7 KOs)and there’s also action for Sheffield Super-Lightweight Dalton Smith (3-0, 2 KOs), Birmingham Featherweight Gamal Yafai (16-1, 9 KOs), along with the professional debut of Leeds amateur standout Hopey Price.
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SJM Concerts are delighted to give fight fans a unique opportunity to meet with three of the boxing industry’s biggest hitters when Former World Lightweight Champion Anthony Crolla, world renown trainer Joe Gallagher and peerless pundit Steve Bunce, team up to deliver a ‘Ringside Stories’ tour of the nation.

The boxing trio begin their educational and highly entertaining tutorials at the London Indigo at the O2 on Thursday 8th August, followed by the Salford The Lowry on Friday 6th September.  Tickets will go on sale on Friday 21st June at 10am.

Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla was not only one of the most gifted British boxers of this decade, he also owns the most heart-wrenching background story.

Hear him deliver his ‘heartache to hero’ testimony of how an angel-faced, meek-mannered adolescent stormed to a senior English ABA title whilst still in his teens, then embarked on a 13 year, 44 fight professional career that saw him reign on the British lightweight throne and, ultimately, conquer the boxing world.

Learn the inside details on Crolla’s dust-ups against fellow domestic champions like Brodie, Mathews, Rees, Murray and Burns. Discover how, with a first world title shot signed and sealed, both his career and life were jeopardised after he heroically confronted fleeing burglars one harrowing night in December 2014 that hit the national headlines and into the public consciousness.

That ordeal left Crolla nursing a fractured skull and broken ankle …in addition to broken dreams. Astonishingly, seven months later, he was back inside a world championship ring but, on this occasion, after dominating feared WBA World Champion Darleys Perez, got robbed by the judges who allowed the Columbian to retain courtesy of a highly contentious draw.

But this most driven of competitors refused to be deterred and, four months later, was finally coronated after puncturing Perez with a perfect body shot in round five. The ‘Bible of Boxing’ Ring Magazinehonoured the achievement by bestowing ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla with its Most Inspirational Fighter of the Year Award. Subsequently, Crolla shared the canvas with contemporary greats of his era like Jorge Linares and current pound-for-pound best Vasyl Lomachenko in memorable unification matches. Listen to Crolla’s assessment.

Anthony has contested six world title fights and duelled seven fellow world champions and throughout his illustrious career has served as the personification of class both inside and outside the ropes. He has been described as ‘the nicest guy in boxing’; the ultimate ambassador for the sport.

Crolla said, “I’m excited to join Joe and Buncey on the Ringside Stories tour and I’m looking forward to meeting and speaking to the fans who have followed and supported me through my career highs and lows.  There’s a lot of interesting and revealing stories that have happened behind the scenes between Joe and I that fans’ will get to hear about first hand.  If you’re a big boxing fan then you can’t miss this!”

Shoulder to shoulder with Crolla, as always, will be the highly-esteemed trainer Joe Gallagher, who has served as Svengali and coach to Crolla since his 16th paid fight and is credited with taken him to excel at new heights.

A fellow Mancunian, Joe is unquestionably the leading British fight tutor of this millennium. In 2015, he was honoured as both the inaugural British Trainer of the Year and the first English-born holder of the iconic Ring Magazine World Trainer of the Year Award. In 2016, he was selected to serve on the WBC’s Trainer’s Committee.

Once a decent amateur at the city’s celebrated Moss Side ABC under the tutelage of the late, great Phil Martin, Joe entered coaching in 1993 and has been dispensing his wisdom to fighters for more than a quarter of a century. He has been involved in over 100 title fights and at one period, boxers from his gym went undefeated in 62 consecutive contests!

While Crolla remains his most celebrated work, Joe has also steered Bury’s Scott Quigg and the Liverpool Smith brothers, Liam and Callum to World titles.

In addition to his status as Britain’s finest fight tutor, Joe is also one of its most articulate, opinionated and outspoken voices. Hear him recount the secrets behind the training camps, gyms, changing rooms plus his outstanding corner work. 

Gallagher said, “I’ve been with Anthony for a decade now and our journey together has been a rollercoaster in the sport and through it all we certainly have a few tales to tell! We can give the fans a great view of our partnership from a trainer and boxer perspective that I’m sure will captivate the audience.”

To further enhance the evening, the event will be moderated by the one and only Steve ‘Big Daddy’ Bunce. 

Few titles in boxing are as undisputed as ‘Buncey’s’ standing as ‘the Voice of British boxing.’

An ex-amateur at the famous Fitzroy Lodge club in south London, Steve evolved into the nation’s foremost fight pundit. Involved as a journalist for 35 years, his knowledgeable and forthright thoughts have featured in the London Evening Standard, the Daily Telegraphand, currently, The Independent. For several years he has penned columns for Boxing Monthly in the U.K and

As a broadcaster, Bunce has presented Radio Five Live’s ‘Fighting Talk’, served as the face of Setanta boxing and, from 2011-2018, earned cult status on BoxNation’s ‘Bunce’s Boxing Hour’ where his insight, passion, contacts and zany humour established him as the industry leader. 

Steve’s CV lists six Olympic Games, over 50 fight nights in Las Vegas and paid assignments in over 20 countries. He is the acclaimed author of a number of books, most notably his boxing-based novel ‘The Fixer’ (2010) and the best selling ‘Bunce’s Big Fat Short History of British Boxing (2017). 

Trade paper Boxing News rightly dub him as ‘A British Boxing Institution.’

Tickets will go sale on Friday 21st June at 10am and are available from with VIP options available.

For further information please go to

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Manchester hero targets ‘greatest ever upset’
Anthony Crolla says he wants to produce one of the ‘biggest upsets of all time’ when he challenges pound-for-pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko for his WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles on Friday 12 April.

‘Million Dollar’ won the WBA crown with a fifth-round knockout of Columbia’s Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at the Manchester Arena in November 2015, but surrendered his title to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares in 2016.

Despite the former champion winning his last three fights against Daud Yordan, Edson Ramirez and Ricky Burns, Crolla accepts he is a huge underdog heading into the biggest fight of his career with Ukraine’s Lomachenko, but the Manchester hero is confident he can shock the World by dethroning ‘Hi-Tech’.

“I want to shock the World and beating him would be one of the biggest upsets of all time,” said Crolla. “He’s a unique fighter and I’ve had to change up sparring to spar with different guys to cover everything he can throw at me. We’ve used top-class sparring partners like Jazza Dickens and Frankie Gavin, who was probably the best amateur this country has ever produced. 

“There is less pressure on me but I have my own expectations and want to give a great account of myself and cause one of the biggest upsets ever by a British fighter. But Lomachenko is mentally very tough, he makes fighters quit, I know that. I know I will have to put up with being frustrated by him.

“Go back through history and see how many fighters have had the movement he’s got. This is the fight I wanted, though. I wanted a big one and I’ve got myself into mandatory position to face him. The money is great but it’s about the challenge. I’ve got myself into this place, so I want to make the most of it.

“Training has gone really well. It’s been brutal at times but you expect it to be. I’ve really been put through it in this camp. My life has just been gyms and motorways. But I’m fighting one of the best fighters on the planet and I will be best prepared I can possibly be. I’m not going over there just for a holiday.”

Watch Lomachenko vs. Crolla in Los Angeles from 3am this Saturday on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action
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DOORS 17:30


18:10 | 10 x 3 mins vacant WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight Championship
SAM HYDE 14st 3lbs 5oz v RICHARD RIAKPOHRE 14st 1lb 5oz
(Manchester)                        (Walworth)
10 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
DAVID ALLEN 18st 5lbs 4oz v ARIEL ESTEBAN 18st 4lbs 9oz BRACAMONTE
(Doncaster)                                (Argentina)
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
JOSH KELLY 10st 11lbs 1oz v WALTER FABIAN CASTILLO 10st 9lbs 5oz
(Sunderland)                              (Argentina)
10 x 3 mins Lightweight contest
RICKY BURNS 9st 12lbs 1oz v SCOTT CARDLE 9st 10lbs 7oz
(Coatbridge)                               (Lytham)
12 x 3 mins Final Eliminator WBA Lightweight Championship
ANTHONY CROLLA 9st 9lbs v DAUD YORDAN 9st 7lbs 9oz
(Manchester)                             (Indonesia)
12 x 3 mins WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO & Ring Magazine Cruiserweight World Championship
OLEKSANDR USYK 14st 2lbs 4oz v TONY BELLEW 14st 3lbs 5oz
(Ukraine)                                               (Liverpool)
4/6 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
DMYTRO MYTROFANOV 11st 5lbs 8oz v GINO KANTERS 11st 5lbs 2oz
(Ukraine)                                                    (Holland)
4/6 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest (on the day weigh-in)
(Greece)                               (Spain)

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Ricky Burns and Scott Cardle meet on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s undisputed Cruiserweight clash with Oleksandr Uysk at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Burns created history in Scotland in May 2016 when he defeated Michele Di Rocco in Glasgow to land the WBA World Super-Lightweight title and become the country’s first ever three-weight World Champion.

The Coatbridge star successfully defended the crown against tough mandatory Kiryl Relikh in Glasgow in October 2016 before falling short in a unification battle with IBF king Julius Indongo in April.He won his 50th fight as a professional in June, stopping Croat Ivan Njegac after four rounds and returns to the scene of his points loss to Anthony Crolla determined to prove he still has big ambitions at World level.

“There’s some big fights to be made in the Lightweight division and a win here in front of such a large PPV audience will put me further in the frame for next year,” said Burns.

“The Manchester crowd last time out was fantastic and obviously Anthony Crolla is fighting on the bill, I’d still love that rematch down the line but first and foremost Scotty has my attention for next Saturday.

“I get on really well with Scotty and his family. They have helped me out with some sparring down the years but this is strictly business. It was a shame my gym mate Joe Cordina pulled out through injury but this is boxing. I’ll shake Scotty’s hand before and after the fight.

“Training has been going well, I’m always keeping busy in the gym waiting for the phone to ring. It doesn’t matter who I fight, I train for every fight the same so the short notice doesn’t change anything drastically in terms of our preparation. These domestic dustups get the fans excited and it’s a great show to be fighting on.”

“This is a huge fight to get me back to where I want to be,” said Cardle. “Ricky is a former three-weight World Champion and a Scottish great, a win against him would hopefully set up some even bigger fights down the line. 
“This is a massive occasion for me, I’ve got the opportunity and now it’s time for me to deliver. I can’t turn fights like this down, especially at this stage of my career. The short notice isn’t ideal but I’ve trained hard for the Cordina fight and I’ll be ready next Saturday.

“Ricky is a very physical fighter, he’s got a great jab and he’s been in there with the best. He’s one of the toughest men in the sport and I’m prepared to go the distance with him. I’ll need to stay smart and use my speed on the night. 

“I’m getting to a certain age now and I want to be able to look back on my career and be happy with what I’ve achieved. I want to reach World level before I call it a day and a win over a name like Burns could be the start of something big”

Very limited tickets are available to purchase from and

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Anthony Crolla Training session ahead of his fight against Daud Yordan on 10/11/18 at Manchester Arena. 30th October 2018 Picture By Mark Robinson.

‘Million Dollar’ determined to reclaim World title in 2019
Anthony Crolla says his best is still to come as he prepares to take on Daud Yordan in a final eliminator for the WBA Lightweight World title on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s undisputed Cruiserweight clash with Oleksandr Usyk at Manchester Arena on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US. 
‘Million Dollar’ returns to his second home for the first time since his win over three-weight king Ricky Burns in 2017 and the 31-year-old is aiming to steal the show with another memorable performance in front of a packed-out arena. 
A former World Champion, Crolla is eager to reclaim his WBA World title currently held by pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko, and would welcome a huge clash with the Ukrainian in 2019, despite the prospect of heading into that fight as a huge underdog.
“Daud Jordan is a very dangerous opponent,” said Crolla. “He’s been in and around World Class operators for a number of years. He’s won 38 with a lot of knockouts and lost 3. If I’m not at my best, he’ll turn me over so I’ve got to raise my performance levels and win this which will open the door for another World title shot.
“Joe thinks this is going to be a long, hard and brutal fight so in sparring we’ve tried to be smart so I’m fresh for fight night. The styles will gel and I’m sure it’ll be a great fight.
“I can’t fight on emotions and try to be the hero. It’ll come down to pedigree but I know all in all it’s going to be tough in there. I’m confident I’ve put in the hard work in camp which will help me be victorious on the night.”
Crolla enjoyed a rollercoaster ride as WBA king at 135lbs, he finally got his first shot at the title in July 2015 against Darleys Perez in Manchester but was edged out in a controversial draw. 

The pair rematched in the same venue five months later and Crolla took his second chance out of the judges’ hands with a stunning 6th round KO from a brutal body shot. Crolla delivered the same salvo against dangerous mandatory challenger Ismael Barroso in in May 2016 to halt the Venezuelan in round seven.

That win led to a keenly fought pair of unification battles with Jorge Linares that the visitor won, but Crolla insists he can still deliver on the World stage.

“I believe I graft as hard as anyone out there,” he added. “It’s in my make up to be honest, I know I’m not the most talented fighter out there, I never have been and I never will be but I know I have to make up for it with hard work. 
“My motivation every morning is my little boy, family and those who pay money to come and watch me. It’s a World title final eliminator in my home town; if I can’t get up for that I’m in the wrong sport. It’s a short career, these nights don’t come around too often and when I’m out I’ll miss them dearly.
“I’m not a young man anymore but I genuinely believe the best of me is still to come. Joe thinks I’m boxing better than ever. All the numbers I hit in training are on the rise.  I’m nearly 32, the body comes under stress at times but I’ve looked after myself and I’m ready to go into the trenches again next week.”

Very limited tickets are available to purchase from and

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