WBA lightweight title challenger Anthony Crolla says he’s put the horrific incident behind him that could have ended his career as the fighter tackled burglars near his home in December.
Crolla was set upon by two youths who inflicted a broken ankle and fractured skull on Crolla, who then missed out on challenging Richar Abril for his first world title in January.
Doctors initially told Crolla that he would never fight again, but remarkably the 28 year-old is back sooner than expected and now gets a second chance against Darleys Perez on July 18 in Manchester.
Being given another opportunity so soon has made it easier for Crolla to put the shocking attack behind him and the Mancunian has even gone as far as saying that he bears no grudges against the men who could have killed him.
“I’ve forgiven them now. I could send myself mad trying to find out who it is,” Crolla told BBC Newsbeat. “I’ve recovered now. My dream is back on track.
“I don’t know who it was. I don’t know where they are. If you’re robbing houses you’re in a pretty bad place.
“Hopefully they’ve stopped doing what they were doing and they’re getting their life back on track.
“They say everything happens for a reason and I’m both physically and mentally better prepared than if I’d have got my world title shot in January.
“It’s been a crazy old ride and it’s not over yet. On 18 July it can have a happy ending.
“There were worrying times when I never thought I’d box again.
“I never stopped believing that I’d get back. But it’s been a bit quicker than I expected,” added the fighter.
‘Million Dollar’ Crolla participates in a star-studded night of boxing at Manchester Arena which is topped by Scott Quigg’s latest title defence against former IBF champion Kiko Martinez. St Helens’ Martin Murray also appears on the bill in his second outing under the Matchroom banner.