Date: 8th October 2017 at 10:51am
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It?s rare, in this day and age, that a non-title fight can top a bill at a venue as large as the Manchester Arena.

But such are the reputations of the former world title holders Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns, that was the case with the duo going-head-to-head in a non-title lightweight fight whereby the winner could, possibly, look forward to a world title shot whilst the loser might just have to ponder retirement.

In front of a vociferous Manchester Arena crowd, with the audience being mostly pro-Crolla, the former lightweight world champion took the honours in a fight that went, as many expected it would do, the full twelve rounds.

After a gruelling battle, in a fight many thought was difficult to score, all three judges awarded Crolla the verdict, with the score-cards reading,

? 116 ? 113
? 117 ? 112
? 116 ? 114

all in favour of Anthony Crolla.

Crolla started the fight well and was the busier fighter in the opening round. As the early rounds progressed Crolla was concentrating more on body-shots whilst Burns was using hi sjab to try and keep the Manchester fighter at bay.

The third round saw Crolla catch Burns with a left hook to the jaw but once again, the was very little between the fighters as they traded blows.

Burns, coming forward, tried to land some big shots on Crolla in the fourth, but Crolla was alert enough to avoid most of them.

The pattern for the fight was now set with the fighters taking it in turns to be the aggressor before the other responded.

The seventh-round saw Crolla caught with a powerful upper-cut that saw blood seep from his nose, an injury his corner had to attend to at the end of the round.

Both boxers continued to try to dominate and in the ninth-round Burns jab appeared to be getting through more and more. Crolla, in the tenth, was caught with a right to the side of the head as Burns tried to claw his way back into a fight he was losing on points.

Crolla responded well though and dominated the eleventh-round before both fighters called on all their reserves of energy to produce a decent last round.

Post-fight there was talk of a re-match, in Scotland, but that may have to wait until Crolla has had another shot at a world title.