Anthony Crolla’s final goodbye will see him take on Frank Urquiaga for the WBA continental lightweight title at Manchester Arena on Saturday, November 2.
Former lightweight world champion Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) will enter the ring for the last time before hanging up the gloves after a memorable career and memories of challenging pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko for the WBA and WBO titles in Los Angeles earlier this year.
The fan favourite fighter won the WBA lightweight world title against Darleys Perez on a eventful evening at Manchester Arena in November 2015 as emotions ran high and successfully went on to defend his title against Ismael Barroso at the same venue one year later.
‘Million Dollar’ made his debut into the pro ranks at Manchester Arena – then MEN Arena – back in 2006, beating Abdul Rashid on a points decision. In a professional career lasting over 13 years Crolla has boxed at the iconic North West venue a total of 13 times, and he is now ready to call time on the sport after his farewell fight 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.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn went onto say: “This is going to be a special moment for Anthony, Manchester and British boxing. 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, with Katie Taylor headlining trying to create her own history by becoming a two-weight world champion as she takes on Christina Linardatou for the WBO super-lightweight world title.
By Kenny Leavett.