Crolla happy with underdog status

Anthony Crolla insists he will continue to prove people wrong when he defends his WBA world lightweight tiltle against Ismael Barroso in Manchester on Saturday.

Two years ago it appeared Crolla may never box again after an attack by burglars left him with a fractured skull and an ankle broken in two places.

However, the Brit remarkably recovered to first draw with Daryls Perez, before beating the Colombian to claim the WBA crown last November.

Heading into his bout with Barroso, Crolla is once more the underdog, but the 29-year-old insists he is content with his status.

"I've been the underdog a lot in my career and it's worked well for me. I've thrived off it. It's not often the world champion is the underdog when he defends a title, but here we are," he said.

"I've proved people wrong and I will keep doing it. I've improved since the Perez fight and I'm going to show it on Saturday."

Barroso represents an almight challenge for Crolla, with the Venezuelen unbeaten in his 21 fights.

Crolla could have taken an easier fight for his first defence, but he insists he never thought about anybody else once Barroso stopped Kevin Mitchell in five rounds in December.

"There was no way I was going to swerve Barroso. I'll fight anyone and I wasn't about to duck my mandatory, no matter how dangerous," he said.

"He's been swerved and avoided, but when you are the champion it's your responsibility to fight the best opponents out there and he fits the bill.

"Barroso showed against Kevin that he was more than just a raw, wild big puncher. He showed he had ability and a boxing brain.

"That wasn't the best Kevin Mitchell that night. I felt at the weigh-in that it was going to be a tough night for Kev as he looked a bit frail and he looked a bit old in there."