Can Anthony Crolla Shock The World?
Whatever Anthony Crolla is being paid to fight the brilliant Vasyl Lomachenko this weekend, you know that he will have to earn every single penny.
The likes of Lloyd Honeyghan and Randy Turpin have sprung massive upsets over the course of boxing history, but there is very little to suggest Crolla is catching Lomachenko at the right time.
A long amateur career, a reported 397 fights, recent shoulder surgery, under-estimating Crolla, are possible glimmers of hope if you want to clutch one very big straw that Lomachenko might somehow be vulnerable against Crolla.
Crolla might hope we have seen the first signs of slippage after all, Jorge Linares dropped Lomachenko, and Jose Pedraza gave Lomachenko a much tougher fight than most expected last time out. But there is hope and there is reality.
Would this be the greatest ever upset seen in a boxing ring, it would certainly be up there if somehow Crolla pulls off the miracle.
Crolla (34-6-3) overcame early career setbacks to become a world champion and gave the classy Linares two decent enough fights not so long ago. Crolla is certainly much better than he is given credit for.
But the feeling is Crolla is very near the end, but even a peak Crolla wouldn’t be given much chance of even troubling Lomachenko, let alone beating him.
It’s very much, one of those fights where it is a case of when not if Lomachenko wins.
Crolla appears to have whipped his body into the best shape possible, and will clearly give it everything he has. But I wonder what actual belief he will bring to the fight.
The term levels gets overused in boxing, but it fits this fight perfectly.
Crolla has done so much in his career, far more than even he could have hoped for you would suspect. But everything comes to an end, and in the Staples Center we may well see the end of a career.
Lomachenko (12-1) is on a mission to unify and Crolla is highly unlikely to spoil those plans. The WBO and WBA lightweight titles will not be changing hands this weekend.
Crolla will keep coming, but eventually, he will get worn down and his brave challenge will be at an end by round 8.