Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla has laughed off Derry Mathews’s claim that he branded his big fight rival a “stepping stone”.
Crolla, 25, makes his second British lightweight title defence against his Merseyside challenger at Oldham Sports Centre on Saturday April 21.
The Mancunian (23-2) said: “Derry has totally made up the ‘stepping stone’ comment. Never once have I called him that. I would never call any fighter that because it is totally disrespectful – never mind somebody of Derry’s calibre.
“I think Derry has done that just to hype himself up. If he feels that is what he needs to do then fair enough, but I just laugh when I see him hash tag it on Twitter all the time.”
Referee Marcus McDonnell was due to referee the 12-round clash, but was removed by the British Boxing Board of Control yesterday (Mon). McDonnell made a comment on a social networking site praising Mathews (29-6-1) - prompting the decision, but Crolla says he would never doubt the experienced referee’s integrity.
He added: “It doesn’t bother me if Marcus McDonnell is the referee because he is good and I would have no problem him officiating in my future fights. Marcus didn’t mean anything by his comment, but the British Boxing Board of Control are just covering their own back. It is just that if there is a controversial ending or points deduction for me people might start making comments. When Marcus made the comment he just didn’t think. It was just a silly thing to do although he meant nothing by it.”
In a magnificent chief support - Birtley’s Jon Lewis Dickinson risks his English cruiserweight crown against Hatton Promotions prospect Matty Askin, in a ten rounder that is also a British title eliminator.
Among those also appearing will be former European super-featherweight champion Stephen Foster Jr, unbeaten Jazza Dickins and Irish amateur sensation Ryan Burnett makes his debut.
Boxing starts at 6.15pm and tickets are on sale. They are priced at £35 general admission, £55 floor seating, £75 ringside and £100 VIP Ringside. You can buy by calling the Hatton Box Office 01925 755 222, Ticketmaster 0844 847 2500, Ticketline 0844 888 9991, any boxer on the bill or online www.hattonboxing.com