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Anthony Crolla promises fireworks in clash with Johanneson


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Anthony Crolla promises fireworks in clash with Carl Johanneson

James Robson


Anthony Crolla has promised he will produce the fight of the year when he takes on former British super featherweight champion Carl Johanneson.


The pair go head-to-head next month in a final eliminator to face reigning champion Gary Sykes later in the year.


Both men are promising fireworks, with Crolla predicting it will even outshine his stunning seven-round stoppage of Andy Morris last October.


“He’s not been in the ring for a bit and I’m watching tapes of the best of Carl Johanneson,” said the English super featherweight champion from New Moston.


“I’m watching his wins against Ricky Burns and some of the other great fights he’s had over the years. Fights like when he beat Michael Gomez. I know what Carl is going to bring.


“He’s going to bring the power and he’s going to bring excitement. But I’m going to bring excitement as well and it’s certainly going to be a candidate for fight of the year.


“I want the British title and I won’t be denied in getting it.”


Crolla’s clash with Wythenshawe’s Morris was a contender for fight of the year in 2010. In 2009, his points defeat to Sykes in their British title eliminator was another candidate for that crown.


He is hoping that 2011 will be year he finally wins the Lonsdale belt, but will first have to overcome a major obstacle in Leeds’ Johanneson.


The 32-year-old returned to action last weekend after eight months out of the ring.


He looked impressive outpointing George Watson over eight rounds in Doncaster and immediately warned Crolla that the best is yet to come.


That is a considerable threat given Johanneson’s stellar record. He is one of only two men to defeat WBO king Ricky Burns and also stopped Manchester hero Gomez.


He lost his British title to Kevin Mitchell in 2008, but is regarded one of the biggest punchers in the division.


“I’m not at my best yet,” he said. “I just wanted to get my timing in and rounds under my belt to get ready for Crolla.


“He is next and I can’t wait. I’m ready for it. Hopefully he is ready and hopefully it will be the fight of the year. Of course, I’m going to win and it’s going to be a great fight.”


Crolla and Johanneson fight on the undercard of Steve Foster Jnr’s European super featherweight title defence against Ermano Fegatilli at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on February 26.



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