WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla will move closer to the first defence of his title in the coming days as negotiations to face mandatory Ismael Barroso are on the cards.
Crolla, 29, defeated Darleys Perez in a rematch last November in Manchester to win the 135 pound title at the second attempt and was immediately ordered to put his championship up against interim holder Barroso.
Following on from Barroso’s impressive fifth round stoppage win over Kevin Mitchell in December, the Venezuelan is patiently awaiting movement on a deal with Crolla, which promoter Greg Cohen says will happen in earnest.
“Although substantive talks have not begun between Ismael Barroso and Anthony Crolla for their world lightweight title fight, I expect to speak with Eddie Hearn in the next few days about making the fight,” Cohen exclusively told World Boxing News.
Hard-hitting southpaw Barroso is currently undefeated in 21 contests having ended 18 of his 19 wins early, with only two blemishes being debatable four-round draws staged in South America in his career infancy.
On paper and should it come off, it looks a tough first test for the likeable Crolla, who was crowned Most Inspirational Fighter of 2015 by ‘The Bible of Boxing’ – Ring Magazine on Monday to cap a marvellous year for the Briton in 2015.
The previous year ended badly after the Manchester man was assaulted by burglars near his home and left with a fractured skull and broken ankle that kept him out of action for months.
‘Million Dollar’ returned to firstly draw with Perez before securing his defining night and should be back in action in late spring, depending on how talks go with his stipulated challenger.