Crolla Has Already Won, but Loma to Prove Too Good
April 12, 2019
As a former world champion, Anthony Crolla would have every right to be angered by the vast majority of media coverage in the build up to his fight with pound-for-pound great Vasiliy Lomachenko.
The Mancunian is the B-side, we all accept that, but he was the man to beat in the lightweight division as recently as 2016.
A great deal of the talk ahead of the Los Angeles fight has been looking ahead to who ‘Loma’ will fight once Crolla is out of the way.
It’s disrespectful from a media point of view, and dangerous if the Ukranian and his team are overlooking the former WBA and WBC champ.
In reality, Crolla has already won by lifting the world title back in 2015, and he must wake up pinching himself when thinking about headlining a Staples Center event against a genuine great of the sport.
It’s difficult to make a case for the 32-year old, so we won’t even try.
Instead, we’ll look into how ‘Million Dollar’ can play his part in a difficult night for Loma, and see how we think the fight will play out.
Crolla’s Habit of Upsetting the Odds
Crolla wasn’t expected to reach this level. As an amateur, and even early in his professional days, ‘experts’ consistently told us that he would do well to win a British title.
This was even before he fractured his skull and broke his ankle after confronting burglars at his neighbour’s house in 2014.
Less than a year later, Crolla would be crowned world champion. A Rocky movie wouldn’t do this story justice, and there are no signs of the end credits rolling just yet.
He might have made a habit of upsetting the odds so far, but a victory over ‘Hi-Tech’ might be asking a little too much.
After all, we’re talking about a man who stopped elite-level opponents in Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares before toying with former world champ Jose Pedraza last time out.
An amateur record of 396-1, Loma is getting better and better with each professional outing. Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
A world champion in just his third professional bout, the 31-year old became a three-weight world champion after just 12 fights.
In summary, he is ripping up the rulebook as he goes along.
Just two fights ago, Lomachenko stopped Linares in the 10th round, in what was arguably his toughest fight to date.
As a mutual opponent, this is arguably the best indicator to go off when comparing Crolla to Loma.
Credit to him, Crolla had only made one defence of his WBA World Lightweight title before stepping into the ring with Linares in September 2016. The Venezuelan would win by decision in the first fight, but Crolla’s performance was so impressive, that the two immediately rematched.
Linares would win the second bout convincingly, only to fall at the hands of Lomachenko three fights later.
The second defeat to Linares would show just how tough Crolla is. Clearly hurt by a body shot, it seemed a matter of time before the Brit would be stopped.
However, he bit down onto his gumshield and fought back to hear the final bell.
Undoubted willpower and grit are the reasons why we’re backing Crolla to perform better than most are giving him credit for.
A Late Night For Loma
As mentioned, the announcement of the fight was met with suggestions of a mismatch and an easy night’s work for Lomachenko.
Do we think his arm will be raised after the fight? Absolutely.
However, we’re backing Crolla’s high, if not basic, defence to see him through to the latter stages. Most bookies have a Loma stoppage in the first half of the fight as the most likely outcome, but we’re happy to stick our neck out and go against popular opinion on this one.
The Mancunian has only been stopped once in his career, and that was seven years ago. He is a much-improved boxer now, and should have enough about him to see the second half of the fight.
If he can wear a lot of Loma’s punches on the gloves and elbows, with that recognisable high guard, it could be a late night for the champ.
We do, however, expect Hi-Tech to get to his man before the final bell sounds.
Here are the bookmakers offering the best boxing odds.
Gary has been writing for a variety of well-respected media outlets for over a decade. His work has been published on websites such as The Mirror, Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo. Formerly a reporter with the world’s largest football website in Goal.com, Gary is a boxing fanatic and previously ran his own boxing column for Betfred. He used to own an Everton fansite, but his love affair with his beloved Toffees is close to coming unstuck.