Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Lancashire, England, Manchester’s Anthony Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) knocked out Darleys Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs), from San Pedro de Uraba, Colombia, at 2:30 of round five with a body shot to win the WBA World lightweight title.
The first meeting in July between the two men ended inconclusively with Perez retaining his title by majority draw. Many were unhappy with the result, not least among them Team Crolla, who petitioned the WBA and were granted an immediate rematch.
This time he wasn’t going to leave it to the judges.
Both fighters looked sharp in the opening four rounds, but Crolla was a little sharper, a little more inspired, and a whole lot hungrier.
In round five, with Perez on the ropes, Crolla landed a beautiful left to the body that dropped Perez to the canvas.
The Colombian could not beat the count.
“It’s been an absolute roller-coaster the last 12 months and this is the perfect finish,” said Crolla after the fight. “I’ve dreamt this dream since I was 10 years of age and I didn’t know it was this good. Honestly, it’s even better than I dreamt. I was really confident that I was going to get Perez out of there. I thought it was going to be a head shot, but I’ll take that body shot any day of the week. I remember touching up top with a right and then sinking a left in downstairs and like most people when they ‘re landing a body shot, I knew it was over then and there.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.