Crolla vs Lomachenko fight: Will ‘Million Dollar’ shock the world and beat the talented Ukrainian?

Crolla vs Lomachenko fight: Will ‘Million Dollar’ shock the world and beat the talented Ukrainian?

Apart from his trainer and stablemates, nobody in the boxing world appears to be giving Anthony Crolla a prayer of usurping the odds and defeating the outrageously talented Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Lomachenko has had 13 professional fights and won 12 of them

The Manchester lightweight attempts to reclaim his old WBA title, along with the WBO belt, when he squares up to the Ukrainian at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles this weekend.

It’s been a rocky road from north Manchester to La La Land for one of boxing’s true gents. There have been plenty of bumps along the path with crushing defeats to a journeyman and domestic rivals just part of the story. He’s had to cope with the trauma of an opponent’s brain injury – the darkest night of his career. After overcoming that and pushing on to finally land a first world title shot, the dream ended with a concrete slab on his head as he tackled burglars breaking into his neighbour’s house.

Will Crolla cause an upset and beat the outrageously talented Ukrainian?

The fractured skull and shattered ankle simply added motivation. He rebuilt, got the shot he craved just eight months after the attack, only to be robbed of victory with a draw against Darleys Perez. The rematch was honoured, and his night finally came at his beloved Manchester Arena when a left hook to the body left the Colombian crumpled on the canvas.

A successful defence against Ismael Barroso followed before he twice shared the ring with the elite Jorge Linares – twice he came second. Another rebuild was needed and successive victories over Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan has led him to his mandatory status and his latest mountain to climb.

Crolla floored Perez in Manchester in 2015

The challenge has been embraced and ‘Million Dollar’ has left no stone unturned in his quest to once again prove the naysayers wrong. Britain’s only world amateur gold medallist Frankie Gavin and fellow southpaw Jazza Dickens have been key sparring partners, helping Crolla prepare for the most unorthodox of fighters.

“Camp has gone fantastic,” he said. “It’s been tough at times, both mentally and physically, but it’s a camp that I believe has made me a better fighter. I’m in the shape of my life and I’m in a very good place.