Exclusive: Anthony Crolla talks Ultimate Boxxer concept, the struggles young fighters face today

Joe Hewlett 09/02/2018

Benjamin Shalom has attracted a keen interest from the boxing fraternity after unveiling his new project – Ultimate Boxxer.

The format has been designed specifically to help raise the profile of Britain’s most talented youngsters who have struggled to get a platform.

Anthony Crolla, as well as Paulie Malignaggi, have joined boxing’s first ever Entertainment brand, fulfilling roles of an ambassador and non-director for the format.

‘Million Dollar’ Crolla is optimistic of the Ultimate Boxxer becoming a mainstream success.

Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News, he said: I’m a big supporter of the concept. I’m all for young lads who are struggling to chase their dreams when becoming professionals.

“If it can give them a chance, make things a little easier for them, give them a profile and build their social media, which is so important, then I’m all up for that.”

Crolla is one of boxing’s fairytale stories having fought tooth and nail to become the star he is today. The former world champion understands how ruthless the sport can be.

Speaking about his journey to the top, he added: “I’ll be honest, when I turned over, I wouldn’t say I was lucky as I worked very hard as an amateur but I turned over, I won a few national titles and went with one of the bigger promoters.

“I was never flashy but I could get by on my boxing wages alone where as there’s so many young kids who I seen professional and they’ve jacked it in after 18 months of being a pro. It’s not what they expect, it’s not glitz and glamour, it costs you to be a boxer. If you can’t sell a certain amount of tickets, then you’re not boxing. It’s that simple.

“This format takes that pressure away from these lads and gives them an opportunity. We’ll see on April 28 but I’m very confident it’ll be a success.”

Another household name to join the party is fellow Mancunian Ricky Hatton. Crolla, who is trained by former Ring Magazine trainer Joe Gallagher, reminisced on old times when Hatton’s name was mentioned.

“Ricky is a legend of British boxing but he’s certainly someone who gave me some of my trophies as an amateur.

“Having known Ricky on a personal level, it’s something I look back and remember I used to save up my pocket money and go and watch him.

“We have Ricky who’s backing it Ultimate Boxxer and Paulie is as well. I don’t think we wouldn’t have backed it if it wouldn’t have been a success,” he concluded.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95

Sign up at www.ultimateboxxer.com for access to ticket pre-sale on Feb 19 for event launch