By Danny Winterbottom, ringside: After a thrilling war of attrition,
that saw both boxers lay everything on the line in pursuit of glory, it
was former British champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla that claimed
the vacant English Lightweight title by 10 round unanimous decision
over previously unbeaten Heywood prospect Kieran Farrell inside a
freezing cold Bowlers Exhibition Centre on Friday .
Following the back and forth war a shocking turn of events occurred
as 22-year-old Farrell, who had given his all throughout the contest to
the backdrop of passionate support, collapsed in his own corner and was
treated for several minutes for exhaustion before a stretcher was called
and paramedics rushed the stricken youngster quickly from the Arena.
The pro Farrell crowd was in shock after witnessing their hero give his
all but come up short against the classy fellow Mancunian.
In Coldwell Boxing’s inaugural promotion showcased on a free to
download application, Farrell and Crolla tore into each other from the
opening bell. Farrell poured forward and never stopped letting his
hands go as Crolla took a moment to adjust to the youngsters ferocity.
As the Joe Gallagher trained stylist settled into the opening three
minutes he picked the cleaner shots as many of Farrell’s clubbing blows
hit arms and elbows.
Farrell’s appetite for work was insatiable as he continued his
forward march in round two as the pair attempted to out gun each other
up close. The bout was turning into a phone booth shootout as neither
warrior would give ground as they swapped uppercuts, hooks and body
blows in a tremendous round that levelled the contest up on my card.
Crolla, who has a cultured left jab, began to find more room to work
in the third as he peppered Farrell with his stick throughout. Rolling
and dipping into range Farrell was caught on the way in but would always
land something to make Crolla think.
By round four Farrell was busting a gut as he dug hard to the body of
Crolla. The former British champion had a look of discomfort etched
across his face as it was proving difficult for him to extinguish the
fire raging inside the Heywood man. Round five saw Farrell have his
best session as he continued the theme of the previous round. Body
shots seemed to momentarily have Crolla in trouble as a left sunk home
and he tucked up tight without firing back. He rode out the storm but
Farrell seemed to be getting on top.
Farrell started the sixth with a burst of punches that Crolla
partially blocked with a high held guard. Kieran was working
tremendously hard but not landing too many hurtful punches as Crolla
began to box and move.
Farrell had his head rocked back more often in the seventh as Crolla
began to assert control with his jab and footwork. Farrell looked jaded
as he attempted to close the distance and work the Crolla body.
Round eight had the Arena in raptures as both men traded blows.
Crolla picked the more eye catching shots to take the session as Farrell
began to slow and drop his hands.
Crolla had a big ninth as his right hand and left jab stopped Farrell
in his tracks on several occasions. Farrell dug deep to fire straight
back at Crolla as the crowd roared their approval.
By now Crolla had his boxing together and was out punching the
youngster from range. Farrell simply couldn’t get close enough and
didn’t have the punching power to turn the contest in his favour.
Judge Terry O’Connor scored the contest 96-94, Dave Parris carded
99-93 and Phil Edwards saw it 99-92 all in favour of Crolla. Howard
Foster of Doncaster officiated. Crolla improved to 25-4 and Farrell
dropped to 14-1.
After the shocking scenes that saw Farrell leave the ring on a
stretcher, more encouraging news reached ringside that he had regained
consciousness in the back of an Ambulance on his way to hospital. More
Full undercard report to follow
to Doghouse Boxing.