Anthony Crolla (left) has retained his WBA lightweight title..

Anthony Crolla knocks out Ismael Barroso to make successful title defence

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Anthony Crolla made a successful first defence of his WBA lightweight title by knocking out Ismael Barroso in Manchester on Saturday.

Crolla's pre-match assertion he would be the underdog for this fight did not look far-fetched in the early stages.

But the Manchester-born fighter hit back strongly and the end came when his opponent was counted out midway through the seventh round.

The big-punching Venezuelan was quickly into his stride and Crolla was showing signs of wear and tear at the end of the fourth round.

However, the home crowd were encouraged by a stronger show from their favourite in the fifth and Barroso was soon on the back foot.

A punishing body shot saw Barroso crumple to his knees and when he failed to beat the count Crolla was left to celebrate.

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