Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla: Brit hints at retirement after brutal knockout defeat

Crolla's challenge for the WBA and WBO lightweight titles held by Lomachenko ended in brutally one-sided fashion in the early hours of Saturday morning in LA

Ben Burrows
Saturday 13 April 2019 09:26
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Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla preview weigh in

Anthony Crolla has hinted he may call it a career after his brutal knockout defeat to Vasyl Lomachenko in Los Angeles.

Crolla's challenge for the WBA and WBO lightweight titles held by Lomachenko ended in brutally one-sided fashion in the early hours of Saturday morning at the Staples Center.

The former world champion from Manchester survived a standing eight-count in the third round but the fight was over a round later.

Crolla must now decide whether to lace them up again after a chastening loss.

"Just a thank to those who’ve tweeted their well wishes. Honest I’m fine health wise just pride is hurting," he tweeted afterwards. "Honestly felt in the best shape of my life going into the fight and so gutted to go out like that.

"It was an honour to share the ring with Lomachenko who was even better than I thought. The knockout was a great shot he told me after it he broke his hand with that punch. He was a gentleman.

"I’m just gonna have a bit of time out before deciding what’s next. I’ve had a crazy career and walking out in the Staples Center against many people's pound-for-pound number one hearing the travelling support is something I’ll never forget.

"I’m gonna have a bit of time out before deciding if there’s another night in us or not.

"Thanks again for all the well wishes I just simply got knocked out off a truly great fighter. No regrets."

Promoter Eddie Hearn says his fighter emerged from the contest with both his health and his pride intact.

"Anthony's fine. Obviously it was a heavy knockout - a temple shot he didn't see," Hearn said. "After he was counted out he got up and was fine. But he's devastated. He said: 'I'm just so gutted for the team because of the work they did'. I'm like: 'Don't worry about the team, you just fought pound for pound number one'.

"Everybody said to him - (promoter) Bob Arum, every fighter at ringside - 'There's no disgrace in that, mate'.

"You're mandatory challenger, what else are you going to do? You get a shot at Lomachenko, you've got to take it. But he was just too good.

"The third round was a weird one because he was sitting on the ropes. I thought it was a poor stoppage because although he wasn't particularly in the fight, it was a poor stoppage.

"Unfortunately in the fourth round Crolla knew he had to do something and go for it. When you do that against Lomachenko, you leave yourself wide open with gaps. Lomachenko was too good for Anthony.

"This shot came against the head, you can't not take this opportunity. Losing to Lomachenko is never a disgrace.

Crolla was knocked out in the fourth

"He can have zero regrets because he prepared the best he could, it's just about levels. Who is going to beat Lomachenko?"

Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic champion, justified his overwhelming favourite status with a clinical 13th win of his professional career.

"I want Mikey Garcia. I want to unify titles. That's my goal. I want historic fights," Lomachenko said.

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