Crolla better than ever

The lightweight has not fought since a confrontation with intruders at his neighbours’ house late last year left him with a fractured skull and a badly broken ankle.

However, Crolla will complete a remarkable comeback when he challenges WBA champion Darleys Perez in a hometown clash at Manchester Arena on July 18, live on Sky Sports.

With training intensifying by the week, Crolla believes his fitness is at an all-time high and tries to take positives from the shocking incident.

???I???m better physically, I???m better mentally than I???ve ever been in my career,??? he told Ringside. ???I???m sure there are better ways to earn a break from your career, but the break has probably done me good. ??

???There are better ways to get publicity, but the publicity I???ve had since the incident has been crazy. Some people know me as the guy who chased the burglar, instead of a boxer.

???It???s been a mad old thing, but my profile has certainly risen and hopefully that will attract a few more people to watch a night of boxing on July 18.???

Crolla is joined on the packed bill by Scott Quigg, who faces a tough WBA super-bantamweight title defence against former IBF champion Kiko Martinez. ??

???We???re not just stablemates, we are mates outside boxing as well,??? said Crolla. ???To be on the same night as him, both in the biggest fights of our careers, it???s great, and that is showing in training, we???re pushing each other.

???Scott is certainly the most dedicated, determined lad I have ever trained alongside.???

Perez has only suffered one defeat, against the talented Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa, but Crolla is confident he can dethrone the Colombian next month.

“My best performances have been when I???ve been an underdog and this is no different,” he said. “It???s something I thrive on.

“I???m going to need a career-best performance, but it???s something I believe I will do. I believe the Manchester crowd will play a big part in seeing me home. July 18, I???ll be a new world champion.”

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