Anthony Crolla defiant after bombing, bids to return to Manchester Arena in October

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Former world lightweight champion Anthony Crolla is already planning a return to Manchester Arena despite the venue being the subject of a terror bombing last month.

Scores of people were injured 22 people died on May 22 after a suicide bomber set off a device in a packed foyer following an Ariana Grande concert.

Crolla, who lost his championship to Jorge Linares at the Arena in September 2016 before being defeated again in a rematch six months later, has already shown solidarity to his city by taking part in the recent Manchester Run.

Now, ‘Million Dollar’ aims to go a step further and arrange his next fight at his hometown venue, the scene of Crolla’s last five outings.

“It’s about showing people we’re not going to be put off by what’s happened,” he told BBC World Service.

“For me, it’s such a special place. I’ve had some of my best nights there and I’m a proud Mancunian.

“It’s always great to fight in front of your own people. I ran the Great Manchester Run last week and it showed the strength of the city. It makes you proud to be a Mancunian.

“There’s nothing better than fighting in your hometown.”

Preparing for his comeback with trainer Joe Gallagher, Crolla has firmly put his losses to Linares behind him.

“I’ve come back from much worse than a defeat in a boxing match,” Crolla pointed out.

“I just lost to the better man on the night. I get over it quickly because I know that I can hold my hands up.

“There are no excuses. I believe I prepared the best I possibly could so I can live with it.

“I’m a big believer that if you work hard in anything then you get the results. I believe I’ll be back better than ever,” he added.