Updated: Wednesday, 14th November 2018 @ 4:49pm

Anthony Crolla's title dreams 'in tatters' after burglars fracture his skull with slab

Anthony Crolla's title dreams 'in tatters' after burglars fracture his skull with slab

| By Tommy Wilson

Manchester boxer Anthony Crolla is 'lucky to be alive' after suffering a fractured skull during a confrontation with two burglars.

The 28-year-old, who also broke his ankle in two places, was set for the biggest bout in his eight-year professional career on January 23 against WBA Champion Richar Abril at the Phones4U Arena.

Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher explained that the lightweight boxer had heard his neighbour’s burglar alarm go off after returning from the gym at 6pm yesterday, and went to check the premises before discovering the thieves. 

This lead to a chase where the boxer managed to corner one of the assailants, but the other attacked him with a block of concrete, leaving him for dead.

Mr Gallagher told BBC Radio 5 Live: “First and foremost, the more I think about it I think how lucky he is to be alive.

“He had a concrete slab over his head, it’s unbelievable.

“He was in bits last night in the hospital. His world title dreams are in tatters."

Gallagher continued by explaining that it was terrible to see this kind of behaviour occur during the festive season. 

“This time of year is the season of goodwill and people are going round in the evening trying to ruin Christmasses. It doesn’t bear reason,” he added.

Neighbour Craig Townsend said it is 'really difficult' knowing Anthony’s world lightweight title has been called off and despite knowing 'things can be replaced', a cancelled fight could affect a whole career.

Crolla, who has won 29 of his 35 professional fights, will need to have surgery on his ankle before a date is rescheduled.

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Unfortunately the January 23 fight is off but our concerns right now are with Ant and his family.

"I'm devastated for him. He has been training for six weeks for this and has a shot at the world title in his home town."

Image courtesy of IFL TV, via YouTube, with thanks