Updated: Thursday, 27th February 2020 @ 5:52pm

Heading into lion's den: Liverpool holds no fears for New Moston lightweight Anthony Crolla

Heading into lion's den: Liverpool holds no fears for New Moston lightweight Anthony Crolla

By Ed Owen

Fighting your former conqueror on hostile soil may be a tough task, but Anthony Crolla remains unfazed ahead of his clash against Liverpudlian Derry Matthews.

The New Moston lightweight travels to Liverpool’s Echo Arena hoping to revel in his role as the villain when he takes on the man who relieved him of the British belt.

But the 26-year-old hopes to avenge that April loss – seen as one of last year’s best British fights – as he battles for the vacant lightweight Commonwealth title on March 30.

“I wouldn’t want this fight any other way,” said Crolla. “He came to me last time and took the title from me in my backyard.

“Now I’ve got the chance to do the same and I’m going to make sure that’s something I do – a lot of my best performances have come when I’ve been the away fighter in the lion’s den.

“I know I’m not going to get the best reception from his fans on the night, but that doesn’t matter – once the bell goes it’s just the two of us in the ring.”

‘Million Dollar’ Crolla steps back into the ring for the first time since his December victory over Kieran Farrell for the English lightweight title.

And the newly-crowned champion – fighting under the Hatton Promotions banner – hopes success on Merseyside will give him a shot at his old Lonsdale belt, now in Martin Gethin’s possession.

The Hitman-backed Crolla made one successful defence of the British belt when it was in his possession and is itching to win it back, provided he is victorious against Matthews.

“I’m sure the fans will want to see the winner of me and Derry Mathews in with Martin Gethin,” he said.

“Gethin had a fantastic win against Ben Murphy last time out and I’m sure our styles would gel for a cracker – it’s a fight I’d like. 

“He’s pretty old school in the way that he hung around for his chance and then took it. I was ringside that night and I was very impressed.”

But Crolla – whose record stands at 25-4-0 (9 KOs) – admits he first has to focus on taking victory 26 against Matthews before he can make further plans.

Image courtesy of Matchroom Boxing, via YouTube, with thanks.

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