Anthony Crolla has vowed to come back stronger next year after a brutal attack left his career in the balance.
The Mancunian lightweight was left with a fractured skull and broken ankle after pursuing two men who he saw in his garden after hearing his neighbour’s burglar alarm going off last week.
His long-awaited world title shot against Richard Abril on January 23 was scrapped and his trainer Joe Gallagher admitted he was unsure whether he would even be able to box again.
But Crolla took to Twitter on Sunday night to thank people for their support, and he promised to “be back stronger than ever in 2015”.
Promoter Eddie Hearn also tweeted on Sunday and appeared to be in no doubt that Crolla would be back in the ring.
“Great chat with @ant_crolla tonight – great to hear him in such good spirits,” he he wrote. “Excited for ‘the comeback’ -he will get his world title shot!”
Police said on Friday that a 17-year-old boy was being questioned in custody on suspicion of burglary, assault and possession with intent to supply drugs in connection with the incident.
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A teenager has been arrested after a boxing world title contender suffered a fractured skull while tackling two alleged burglars at a neighbour’s home.
Anthony Crolla, 28, saw the pair fleeing the neighbour’s back garden on Tuesday in Chadderton and was hit with a concrete slab in the incident.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said a 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of assault, burglary and possession with intent to supply drugs.
Crolla is recovering in hospital.
His trainer Joe Gallagher said Crolla was “lucky to be alive” following the incident, in which he also suffered a broken ankle which will require surgery.
But the Manchester boxer has already been ruled out of the biggest fight of his eight-year professional career, a WBA world lightweight title clash with Cuban Richard Abril on 23 January.
Gallagher added: “He is in bits and heartbroken. I’m devastated for him. He has been training for six weeks for this and had a shot at the world title in his home town.”
GMP said Crolla had spotted two intruders climbing over the fence from his neighbour’s home in Halsey Close and chased them through Thorley Close onto Butterworth Lane and Crescent Road.
The boxer, who has won 29 of his 35 professional fights, managed to catch one but was hit on the head with a concrete slab by the other.
A police spokesman said Crolla had done “an admirable and valiant thing” in trying to tackle the burglars.
His neighbour Chris Townsend said Crolla’s actions were typical of the man, adding: “When we spoke he just said to me: ‘We’re neighbours – we look out for each other.'”
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