Crolla targets summer return

The 28-year-old from Manchester 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 on December 16.

His world title shot against WBA lightweight champion Richard Abril on January 23 was scrapped as a result and his trainer Joe Gallagher initially admitted he was unsure whether the fighter would even be able to box again.

But Crolla is well on the way to recovery and has now moved up to No 2 behind Juan Diaz in the latest WBO rankings.

And with champion Terence Crawford widely expected to step up to light-welterweight in the near future, Crolla may be a step closer to resurrecting his shot at a world belt.

“It really cheered me up,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “Obviously, Terence Crawford is the champion, but it seems common knowledge that he’s going to move up in weight. I could end up being right by the time that comes around.

“The plan is to get out in the summer, but we’ve not talked about opponents yet or what kind of fight it will be. It doesn’t bother me. I’ll be ready to get straight back in there.

“I boxed in November and by the time the summer comes around it will be seven or eight months. There are loads of fighters who fight on that sort of schedule.

“It’s not like I’ll be out of the ring for a few years or there’s going to be major rust. I’ll just get the right sparring in and be ready straight away for a big fight.

“At the minute there’s no weight being put on my ankle. With the fractured skull, I’ll take my time getting back into sparring. But I’ll make a full recovery and before I know it I’ll have a big fight in the summer.”

He added: “I’ve got a cast on for another three weeks. There’s only so much TV you can watch. Hopefully I can get back on my feet, start the rehab and get back to full fitness. I’m getting better all the time.”