Date: 6th May 2016 at 1:59pm
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This Saturday, up in Manchester, Anthony Crolla will be making his first defence of WBA lightweight title.

Crolla, roared on by a partisan home crowd, won the WBA version of the belt after stopping Darleys Perez back in November, after the first fight between the two ended in a draw.

On Saturday, Crolla will be taking on a dangerous opponent in Ismael Barrosa, a fighter who on his last visit to these shores retired London?s Kevin Mitchell.

Addressing the media, Crolla talked about the build-up to the victory over Perez,

?With the 2nd fight, it was the last 3 or 4 days ? I got this belief in me. I just couldn?t see there was any way in me losing the fight. Eddie Hearn told me after it, he?d come in the changing rooms to see me and he was half annoyed because he thought I was too laid back! I knew it was a matter of ?do what I have to do? and I?d be the new world champion.?

And on facing the dangerous and big hitting Barroso, Crolla further added,

?I?m going in a slight underdog, but that?s something I thrive on and has worked well for me in the past. It feels like a challenge because of the amount of people saying I wasn?t going to fight him, that I was going to try and swerve him. It really got my back up a little bit. I thought ?I?m gonna show you?. When you become a champion you take on the best challenges that you can, I think Ismael Barroso fits that bill. Whether he gets out-boxed for the 12 rounds, or if I get close to him and make things uncomfortable for him, I will find a way to win??

At the weigh-in today, Crolla scaled 134.3 pounds whilst the challenger tipped the scales at 134.2 pounds.

Our feeling is that Crolla will have to produce the performance of a lifetime to beat Barrosa, but he could just do that.