Story of the fight
Former world champion Anthony Crolla returns to the Manchester Arena, the scene of so many of his triumphs. Now though he is in the unaccustomed position of being an undercard fighter.
Crolla became a world champion at the arena on an emotional night when he finally beat Darleys Perez. He defended against the fearsome Ismael Barroso before Jorge Linares outclassed him over two fights.
A year ago he rebuilt there with a win over Ricky Burns, who also appears on this bill against Scott Cardle. While Tony Bellew v Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed cruiserweight title headlines, the local hero Crolla fights Daud Yordan further down the bill.
Yordan is a 38-3 (26) Indonesian who hasn’t lost since a 2013 12th round stoppage defeat to Simpiwe Vetyeka in Jakarta.
While not particularly active he’s been on an eight-bout winning run since then. Defeats earlier in his career came, on points, against Celestino Caballero and Chris John in 2010 and 2011.
31 years old and seemingly in decent form, last time out, in April, away in Russia Yordan knocked out the previously unbeaten Pavel Malikov in eight rounds.
Although Yordan is well travelled, Crolla’s hometown faithful are likely to give him an intimidating welcome. “Daud Yordan is a very dangerous opponent,” the former champion warned. “Joe [Gallagher, his trainer] thinks this is going to be a long, hard and brutal fight so in sparring we’ve tried to be smart so I’m fresh for fight night. The styles will gel and I’m sure it’ll be a great fight.
“I can’t fight on emotions and try to be the hero. It’ll come down to pedigree but I know all in all it’s going to be tough in there. I’m confident I’ve put in the hard work in camp which will help me be victorious on the night.”
The Indonesian is strong but his defence is porous, which the Englishman should be able to exploit with his sharp, busy combinations. As long as Crolla is cautious of Yordan’s power, he ought to be able to outbox and outpoint the visitor.
Yordan is highly ranked with the WBA and victory might pave the way for Crolla to challenge their supremely talent lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko, a huge ask but a high profile fight.
“It’s a world title final eliminator in my home town; if I can’t get up for that I’m in the wrong sport. It’s a short career, these nights don’t come around too often and when I’m out I’ll miss them dearly,” Crolla said.
“My motivation every morning is my little boy, family and those who pay money to come and watch me.
“I’m not a young man anymore but I genuinely believe the best of me is still to come. Joe thinks I’m boxing better than ever. All the numbers I hit in training are on the rise. I’m nearly 32, the body comes under stress at times but I’ve looked after myself and I’m ready to go into the trenches again.”
*all odds are subject to change