Blogs & Opinion


Blogs:

Most Popular Posts:

Derry Mathews' grit can defy Anthony Crolla, says Glenn McCrory

Blogs Posted 28th March 2013 view comments

Derry Mathews and Anthony Crolla's first fight, in April 2012, was the domestic dust-up of the year - and I think we are set for a repeat performance this weekend.

Both lightweights will be amped up, with Mathews wanting to put on a show in front of his home fans in Liverpool and Crolla, who can't really afford a loss, looking to get his career back on track, and I'm expecting a terrific duel.

Favourite: Mathews (L) should beat Crolla again on Saturday, says Glenn

Favourite: Mathews (L) should beat Crolla again on Saturday, says Glenn

Mathews put in a very impressive display a year ago in Oldham to win the British strap - he floored his opponent in the third round and recorded a stoppage win in the sixth - but I think Crolla lost the bout more than his rival won it.

The Manchester fighter's tactics were all wrong; he boxed straight at Mathews, trying to press him back and take control, but he quickly found out that his adversary was better than he thought and he couldn't make the tactical changes needed to break him down.

If Crolla is going to even the score he needs to move a bit more and show greater defensive nous.

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Fight Night
9pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD

If Crolla, who got hit an alarming number of times in the clash, is going to even the score he needs to have a plan B up his sleeve, which should involve moving a bit more and showing greater defensive nous.

He was intent on getting rid of Mathews last time out and, in his mind, he probably thought it would be a simple task, but I expect him to be a lot more focussed on Saturday evening.

Mathews, though, will be extremely confident because he knows he has knocked his opponent out once before, while I think he will be even fitter than he was in the initial bout, when he only had six weeks' preparation.

The Liverpudlian has a real stubborn streak, too - he has come back from defeats and extended his career when many pundits thought he was done - and he is a really strong guy to boot.

Crolla will be shown that on Saturday in the duo's Commonwealth title match and because I'm not sure how much he can change, I expect Mathews to come out on top again in a fight that should be similar to, but longer than, their first.

Undisputed

The winner this weekend will boost their future prospects but I'm not sure either Mathews or Crolla, both very good domestic fighters, will advance much further up the ranks; they could challenge at world level but would lose to any of the top boys.

We shouldn't moan about that, though, and should instead look to some exciting Brit on Brit matches between those two and the likes of Gavin Rees, Kevin Mitchell, Curtis Woodhouse and whichever other young lightweights emerge over the next few years.

Our undisputed number one lightweight, however, is WBO champion Ricky Burns, who will be back in action against Puerto Rican Jose A Gonzalez in Glasgow on May 11 in his first fight since joining Matchroom.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Ricky deserves more fan adulation than he currently gets because he has turned himself from a virtual journeyman into a solid world champion and, alongside Miguel Vazquez and the supremely talented Adrien Broner, one of the top three lightweights on the globe.

Scotland has got a fantastic lightweight legacy with Ken Buchanan and Sky Sports' very own Jim Watt having formerly won world title gold and Ricky has the same qualities those two greats had; he is gritty, has height and reach, is no frills in the ring, and gives you hell.

Ricky has proved he has the ability to perform at different weights - he is a former world super-featherweight champion after all - and if he does remain a powerful force at lightweight he could be tempted to try something different.

But I think that, with Broner likely to move up to light-welterweight at some point, Burns could be the dominant presence in the lightweight community for the next five or so years.

To see Mathews' clash with Crolla and Tony Bellew's light-heavyweight showdown with Isaac Chilemba, tune into Sky Sports 1 HD from 9pm on Saturday.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Michael Goodman says...

Got to say the respect they've shown each other on Rinside can show many other sportsmen put there on how to reapect your competition. May the best man win. 50/50

Posted 22:17 30th March 2013

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Blogs:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Clowney's no joke

US sports expert Alex Ferguson profiles Jadeveon Clowney, the biggest defensive pick of the draft....

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Alex Ferguson

A perfect union?

Alex Ferguson looks at the possible unionisation of college football and how he would handle the issue....

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....

comments

Jamie Carragher

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce deserves a mention when this year's managerial awards are handed out, says Carra....

Peter Beagrie

An Easter feast

Beags previews the cracking Easter action in the Championship, including games for the top three....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Martin Tyler

Goal crazy

When did Liverpool last score three without Suarez and Sturridge netting? Martin Tyler has the stats......

0 comments

Will Greenwood

Building momentum

Will Greenwood wants England to lay down a World Cup 2015 marker on their tour to New Zealand....

Dewi Morris

Heart and soul

Dewi Morris looks at a crucial weekend in the Championship as we head towards the play-offs....

Stuart Barnes

Ups and downs

Stuart Barnes says the drama of relegation must be kept in rugby, but the play-offs need changing....

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Paul McGinley

Joy for Jonas?

Jonas Blixt has the short game and heart to win the Masters at Augusta, says Paul McGinley....

0 comments

Barry Cowan

Heavy burden

Great Britain's best Davis Cup since 1986 fails to mask their reliance on Andy Murray, says Barry Cowan....

Barry Cowan

No force without Fab

Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final with Italy rests on the fitness of Fabio Fognini, says Barry Cowan...

Alex Hammond

Going the distance

Marathon entrant Alex Hammond previews the Newbury action and Scottish National meeting at Ayr....

Alex Hammond

Rocky's road

Alex Hammond explains why she is backing Rocky Creek and Lion Na Bearnai at the Grand National....

Andrew Balding

Resting up

Trainer Andrew Balding says On Demand is progressing well - but now needs time to recuperate....

Johnny Nelson

The best of friends

It will be tough but Johnny Nelson expects mates Anthony Crolla and John Murray to serve up a classic....

Glenn McCrory

Manny happy returns

Manny Pacquiao is back to his best and could yet get it on with Floyd Mayweather, says Glenn McCrory....

Johnny Nelson

Delighted for DeGale

James DeGale's Matchroom switch is the perfect move to get him back in the mix, says Johnny Nelson....

View from America

Desperate deals?

Simon Veness reviews a crazy week in the NFL's free agent frenzy, as sides splash out over $1bn....

comments

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Neal Foulds

Simply the best?

Five-time Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the best snooker player ever, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Neal Foulds

Four to the fore

Neil Robertson and snooker's other leading lights are pulling clear of the pack, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Rich re-Ward

Poole, and the dynamic Darcy Ward, will wrap up the Elite League title at Perry Barr, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments