Farrell v Crolla ringside report
Thankfully we can talk about the fight.
After giving absolutely everything in his ten round English lightweight title fight with Anthony Crolla last night, Kieran Farrell collapsed in his corner. As the scenes that every boxing fan dreads played out in front of our eyes, it was hard not to fear the worst. The Heywood based 22 year old had worked incredibly hard over the previous 40 minutes, refusing to take a backwards step and applying constant pressure on his more experienced rival. The first sign of good news came as Farrell left the arena on a stretcher and appeared to clap towards his noisy fans. Fortunately camp insider Leonard Gunning informed Terry Dooley of Boxingscene that despite being diagnosed with a slight swelling and bleed of the brain, Farrell regained consciousness overnight and was talking to bedsiders.
As was widely expected, Farrell, 134lbs, flew out of the traps and straight into 26 year old Crolla’s face. More of a surprise – to me at least - was ‘Million Dollar’s’ reaction. Rather than get straight on the back foot and seek to employ the best jab in the domestic lightweight division, he stood and fought. The reasoning behind the decision became clear as the fight unfolded. By staying with the Central Area champion early, Crolla, 135lbs, never allowed him to gain any sort of foothold or momentum in the fight. Once some of the vigour had left Farrell’s work, Crolla was able to pick his shots, land that jab and use his feet to slide in and out of range. From the midway point of the fight, former British champion Crolla took over. Whilst he steadily ramped up both the quality and number of punches he was landing, Farrell gradually slowed and ran out of ideas. A hard left hook hurt him in the ninth but he bravely walked through it and made it to the final bell.
The unanimous decision was announced amid understandably subdued scenes but the scores were conclusive, 99-92, 96-94 and 99-93 in favour of Crolla. For what it’s worth, I scored the bout 98-92 in Mostonian’s favour.
“I just hope Kieran’s ok,” said a tired Crolla, now 25-4 (9), after the fight. “That’s the main thing and fingers crossed everything will be alright. That’s the main thing tonight, there’ll be no celebrating until I find out he’s alright. I missed that [that Farrell seemed to be clapping whilst leaving the ring] but somebody just told me then. Fingers crossed it’ll be ok. That’s the main thing. Somebody with a heart as big as that and who trains as hard as him has to be a champion, he’ll be back.”
Prior to the bout, Farrell, now 14-1 (3), had engaged in a war of words with Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher. Speaking after the fight, Gallagher was full of praise for the 22 year old and admitted that the provocation was purely designed to try and gain every advantage possible for his fighter. Crolla confirmed that they while they knew Farrell would fight aggressively, his team decided to add fuel to his fire in the hope of encouraging some recklessness. “A little bit yeah. We thought he’d come out and try and wear us down and he did. We knew he’d come in fantastic shape. Kieran might not be ‘body beautiful’ but he came for war tonight.”
Crolla is now a two time, two weight English champion and has options. He dearly wants his British title back but he would also love to gain revenge on the man who took the title from him, Liverpool’s Derry Mathews. “Dave [Coldwell] said the winner of this would fight Derry. I’m a small lightweight and could also make Super feather but I’ll stay here for Derry.”
‘Dirty’ Derry made his first appearance for Coldwell Promotion’s on the undercard as he blew away Bulgarian opponent Asan Yuseinov in the very first round. Of all the fighters I get to cover Mathews has consistently provided the most excitement and it was the first drama free Derry fight I can remember. Yuseinov looked like Luis Suarez and wore his shorts so high that one of Mathew’s friends shouted that Derry should ‘ask him what size neck his trunks are.’
“On paper he was a credible opponent and Dave Coldwell’s fuming,” said Mathews, 32-8-1 (18), after the fight. “I hit him with an uppercut and I’ve just seen the replay and it did catch him but I hurt him with a bodyshot too. I’m due, not an easy fight, but a walk in the park! I’ve come out with no cuts, I’ve hurt my hand a bit but it was sore before the fight and I’m happy with how things went. I’m gonna pay full attention to the main event and if Crolla wins, who knows? If we can get the British title on between me and Anthony it’ll be a good 2013. I’ve got a massive 2013 planned.
“I want the British title. I’m not gonna say I wanna win a world title because it’s not gonna happen and I’m not gonna get the opportunity but I know I’ll get the opportunity to fight for the British. Dave’s in the middle of sorting a Commonwealth title fight out for me in February. Dave’s the man with the plan and we’ll see what he’s got planned for me.”
Fans who bought the event on the new Coldwell TV app were treated to an exciting nights boxing.
Super bantamweight Liam Hanrahan achieved the very difficult and stopped Delroy Spencer in the fourth round of their fight. Hanrahan has two stoppages from two contests and looks like he has adapted perfectly to the professional game.
At middleweight, Liam Conroy was upset by Angolan import Gilson De Jesus after 6 entertaining rounds. De Jesus bought a deceiving 1-4 record into the fight but impressed onlookers with his skill and willingness to fight. Conroy, now 2-1 (2), began the better but De Jesus hurt him badly in the fifth and took a slightly surprising 58-57 decision on referee Phil Edwards’ card.
Cruiserweight Chris Healey stopped Junior Millar in the final seconds of a bombs away war. The towering Millar dropped Healey in the first with a series of right hands but exhausted himself in the process. The pair then traded haymakers until Millar found himself unable to stand straight and wobbled around the ring like one of the huge costumes on ‘It’s a Knockout’. Referee Alvin Finch should really have stopped the fight before Healey had time to land the right hand which ended matters. Healey is now 3-0 (1).
Featherweight Ryan Doyle, 5-0 (4), was all business as he jumped right on Hungarian Ignac Kassai and stopped him at 2.32 of the very first round. The Hungarian had no answer to Doyle’s aggressiveness and was down twice, both times from clubbing right hooks.
Light heavyweight Matty Clarkson rebounded from a first career defeat to Courtney Fry with a straightforward 40-36 decision over Elvis Dube.
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