Retiring Crolla will face Urquiaga in farewell fight

Boxing

Former lightweight world titlist Anthony Crolla has an opponent for his farewell fight: Frank Urquiaga.

Crolla plans to say goodbye to his fans with a final fight at his hometown Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on Nov. 2 (DAZN) in the co-feature of the card headlined by undisputed women’s lightweight world champion Katie Taylor moving up one weight class to challenge Christina Linardatou for her junior welterweight title.

After Crolla was knocked out in the fourth round in a mandatory title shot against pound-for-pound king and unified lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko on April 12 in Los Angeles, he said he wanted one more fight in front of his hometown fans before retiring.

So Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn scheduled Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs), 32, for a 10-round bout and on Tuesday unveiled his opponent.

“This is it, the final one,” Crolla said in a news release. “I’ve had so many great nights at the arena down the years, so I’m pleased to be finishing where it all started. Urquiaga knows this is his golden chance. A win against me and he throws his name further into the mix. I can’t let the emotions get to me. I’ve got a job to do first and foremost — I want to bow out with a win.”

Crolla won a lightweight world title at Manchester Arena against Darleys Perez in November 2015 and successfully defended it against Ismael Barroso there in 2016. Crolla also made his professional debut at the arena in 2006 and fought there several times.

“The support and atmosphere has always been special at the arena. I’m forever thankful,” Crolla said. “I’m determined to put on a show for one last time.”

Urquiaga (13-1-1, 1 KO), 32, a Peru native fighting out of Spain, is 1-1-1 in his last three bouts. He’s coming off a 10-round draw in February and lost a decision to Edis Tatli for the European lightweight title in August 2018.

“It’s a great honor to fight a warrior like Anthony Crolla in his last fight,” Urquiaga said in the news release. “Of course, it is a great opportunity for me to win and make a big step to the next level, where there are a lot of good British fighters such as Luke Campbell, Joe Cordina, Lee Selby and Ricky Burns. I’m working hard for this opportunity, I know that British fans are unbelievable, and I want to give them an unbelievable fight.”

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