Crolla wants ring comeback just six months after fractured skull

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND’S Anthony Crolla has targeted a return to the ring in May, less than six months after suffering a fractured skull when he was struck with a concrete slab.

The 28-year-old lightweight also broke his ankle in the attack in December as he attempted to apprehend thieves he suspected of robbing his neighbour’s house in Chadderton, Greater Manchester.

His injuries forced the postponement of next week’s scheduled world title bout against Cuba’s WBA champion Richar Abril, who will now face Liverpool’s Derry Mathews in March.

Crolla has won 29 of his 35 professional fights and admits there are hurdles to overcome before a boxing comeback is guaranteed, but the Mancunian fighter insists a pre-summer return remains the aim.

“At first we were aiming for July, then we cut it back to June,” said Crolla. “I honestly think I can be ready for May, late May. We’ll see. I really believe that. I can get a bit carried away and start thinking ‘well I can be getting around a bit in a few weeks, it won’t take long to get fit, I can get back sparring’.

“But the sparring is the thing I need to be careful with and wait. I’ll probably need brain scans even before I return to sparring.”

Crolla required 12 stitches in a head would and a plate and pin in his ankle, while his promoter Eddie Hearn claimed he was fortunate to alive, but with his cast now removed the former British champion is eager to make up for lost time.