Anthony Crolla Wins by 7th Round KO
By: Jordan Seward
Anthony Crolla put in a tremendous tactical display last night to retain his WBA World Lightweight title with a 7th round KO victory against Ismael Barroso.
‘Million Dollar Crolla’ (31-4-3 13KOs) came into the fight as a slight underdog, despite being the champion. The event was called danger zone, denoting to the dangerous reputation Barroso (19-1-2 18KOs) has in the Lightweight division; a southpaw who possesses’ immense power – not an ideal first defence. Prior to this fight the Venezuelan earned his shot by destroying Kevin Mitchell in five rounds that effectively retired the British boxer.
From the very first bell it was apparent Barroso thought his best chance of winning was to get Crolla out of there early on. He immediately marched onto the front foot, a lot less crudely than people suggested he would box. Barroso was throwing with intent, trying to land his big left hand over the top. Crolla came out in the opening rounds with his traditional high upright guard, clearly wary of Barroso’s power.
Despite not landing too many flush shots, Crolla’s head started to readen showing signs of the challenger’s power. The Venezuelan won the first two opening rounds convincingly as he outworked Crolla, he was the busier of the two fighters and the outcome of the fight was always going to depend on if he could maintain this tempo.
The third round was more competitive as Crolla started to land shots of his own and tried to cut the ring off with his movement. Barroso edged the third again though to give him a three round lead. It became apparent Crolla’s game plan was to soak up the pressure and take some damage early on in hope his opponent would tire late on. By the fourth, Barroso was over throwing and his constant upper body movement seemed to exert a lot of his energy. Crolla’s right eye started to swell and bleed which proved Barroso was still a danger.
In the fifth round there were vivid signs Barroso was beginning to tire. His defences started to look fragile and all upper body movement had stopped. Crolla capitalised on this and started to land shots, he shook him up early in the fifth with a hard right to the head and then a left to the body, the challenger suddenly seemed very far from home as cheers of ‘OOO Anthony Crolla’ roared around the Manchester Arena.
Crolla hurt him again with a good left hook and Barroso trudged back to his corner on unsteady legs. It was more of the same in the sixth, Crolla remained a couple of rounds down on the cards at this point but the fight was swinging his way. Barroso looked like he had thrown his best shots and had nothing left in the tank. The KO came in the seventh when Crolla threw a straight left to the body, it was a bit of a promiscuous shot but Barroso looked dead and buried and sunk to his knees with a defeatist look etched on his face.
It was over, Barroso made no effort to beat the count and celebrations ensued. Credit goes to his trainer Joe Gallagher for setting out the game plan and credit to Crolla for executing it perfectly. History has it that a boxer with ring smarts will overcome a KO specialist and that’s been proven once more.
Crolla has made a big name for himself with this victory and now it could be time for him to live up to his alias and earn the big bucks with a unification fight against Terry Flanagan next.