Anthony Crolla confident victory over Ricky Burns will propel him back into world title contention

Luke Brown
The Independent
Crolla is confident of winning his British showdown with Burns: Getty
Crolla is confident of winning his British showdown with Burns: Getty

Anthony Crolla has insisted that victory over Ricky Burns in a British lightweight battle on Saturday night will propel him back into world title contention.

Crolla lost his WBA world title when he suffered a points defeat to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares last September. The 30-year-old also fell short in the rematch, but believes bouncing back with a win over Burns will put him back in the mix for a title.

“Win this fight on Saturday night and I'm right back in world title contention,” Crolla said at the final press conference before Saturday night’s fight.

“The fights against Linares didn't go my way; I know I've got to rebuild. But I don't want to be dropping down a level after being at this level for a good few years.

“I'm expecting a very tough fight but if I fight my fight, I come through.”

Burns is also heading into the fight on the back of a defeat, after he lost his light-welterweight title fight to Namibia’s Julius Indongo.

But Crolla stressed he would not underestimate the Scottish boxer and argued a drop down in weight was unlikely to be a significant issue for him.

“I'm preparing for the best Ricky Burns,” he added. “He's probably had his best performances at lightweight.

“Ricky has got a great engine; I'm not relying on him tiring down the straight and I'm sure he's the same with me.

“I think we've got two strong lightweights in the ring on Saturday night.”

Campbell is keen to fight the winner (Getty)
Campbell is keen to fight the winner (Getty)

Fellow British lightweight Luke Campbell, who also came up short in his recent title fight with Linares, has meanwhile opened the door to fighting the winner of the Crolla vs Burns encounter.

“My main aim is still to try and get the rematch with Linares and get it in the UK, I think I deserve that,” he said on Sky Sports News.

“If I don't get that immediately, then the winner of Linares against Mikey Garcia, but other than that, the winner of Crolla-Burns is definitely an option.

“Let's see what happens in that one this weekend and if the British fight fans want me to fight the winner, then I have no problem with that.”

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