Blogs & Opinion


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

Glenn McCrory 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

back to top

Other Boxing Blogs:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Jamie Moore

Boxing backs Crolla

Jamie Moore says boxing will do all it can to get Anthony Crolla back in the ring following his injuries....

Latest News RSS feeds

Ali's condition improves

Muhammad Ali's spokesman Bob Gunnell has reported Ali's condition has improved after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

Crolla vows to make comeback

Anthony Crolla has vowed to return to the ring next year after a brutal attack left his career in the balance.

On Ringside Review...

The team, including Glenn McCrory, Spencer Oliver and Ed Robinson, review the year's biggest boxing stories.

Khan plans Pakistan trip

Amir Khan plans to travel to Pakistan to show his support for the victims of the army school massacre.

Muhammad Ali taken to hospital

Boxing great Muhammad Ali has been taken to hospital with pneumonia but is expected to recover from the illness.

Features

Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast: We hear from Amir Khan, Kell Brook and Eddie Hearn

Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast: We hear from Amir Khan, Kell Brook and Eddie Hearn

Welcome to the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast, an online offering from skysports.com bringing you the latest news and views from the world of boxing.

Look back at the blog

Look back at the blog

Did you miss the Amir Khan win over Devon Alexander? Well have a look back at what happened round-by-round

Khan v Alexander: Ricky Hatton remembers the showbiz of his own Las Vegas fight nights

Khan v Alexander: Ricky Hatton remembers the showbiz of his own Las Vegas fight nights

Ricky Hatton has described fighting as the star attraction amid the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip as "a dream I’ll never wake from".