Boxing

Anthony Crolla in hospital with fractured skull

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Anthony Crolla’s WBA world lightweight title fight has been called off after the boxer suffered a suspected fractured skull when tackling burglars.

The 28-year-old was hit over the head with a concrete slab after confronting two people that had broken into his neighbour’s home.

Crolla gave chase and apprehended one of the thieves but he was hit with a slab and suffered a broken foot as he fell.

The boxer is currently awaiting the result of a CT scan at the Royal Oldham Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

The WBO inter-continental lightweight title holder, who has won 29 of his 35 professional fights, was due to fight Cuban Richar Abril in his hometown of Manchester on January 23.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the fight was off: “I’ve spoken to him and he’s heartbroken. All he was thinking about was protecting his neighbour’s property and his world title dream is over.

“He’s got stitches in his head and the wound is quite deep. They said it might be a fractured skull. He has to have surgery on his foot, which is broken in two places.

“He was heartbroken and in tears but he will just have to try and get back up.”

Devastated

Hearn is hopeful that the Crolla will have another shot at the title: “We’re devastated for Anthony and his family, you couldn’t meet a nicer guy in boxing.

“It was a dream to get him to his world title shot. I’ve alerted Abril’s team and hopefully we can arrange it but we don’t know the extent of Anthony’s injuries. His health is our first concern.”

Crolla had rebuilt his career after a devastating loss to Derry Mathews in a British title fight two years ago and had been looking forward to the fight: “To have the world title shot in Manchester is a huge factor.

“Without wanting to sound cheesy, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. I am a Manchester lad so to be fighting in Manchester for a world title, I couldn’t ask for anything more and the only way it could get better than that is to go out there and win it.”

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