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Home Sports Taylor takes on Linardatou before Crolla’s final fight

Taylor takes on Linardatou before Crolla’s final fight

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Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

  1. Welcome Frank!

    Luke Reddy

    BBC Sport at the Manchester Arena

    Manchester rain

    Copyright: .

    Frank Urquiaga would have turned up knowing Manchester was against him given this is Anthony Crolla’s farewell.

    The man from Barcelona has been welcomed by some truly wet weather too (not that it ever rains here) and now has the hostile arena to contend with. All in all, things must feel anything but homely.

    Urquiaga has only lost once and is a respectable opponent but crucially, he’s got just one stoppage win on his record. You would therefore think Crolla can let his hands go tonight and hunt an eye-catching finish in the absence of a power puncher opposite him.

  2. Post update

    Scriptwriters over the road at Coronation Street would even find a late cancellation of Crolla’s final fight fanciful.

    At least we could all get to the Rovers for last orders if the plug was pulled.

  3. Drama already…

    Luke Reddy

    BBC Sport at the Manchester Arena

    We’ve already had some ringside drama tonight. Word filtered down to us that Anthony Crolla’s fight was off because his opponent had some kind of medical issue.

    That developed into word from well-placed people that Frank Urquiaga had a strapping on his elbow and would not remove it. He was told if he did not he could not fight, then 10 minutes later it’s a thumbs-up that the fight is on.

    There you go – there’s always something happening on fight night.

  4. Post update

    Woah… that is not the only drama going down at Manchester Arena. Some big chat arriving from our man there…

  5. Cash defends Commonwealth middleweight title

    Before all that… Felix Cash and Jack Cullen have been embroiled in a heck of brawl.

    Both fighters looked on the ropes at various stages but Cash is the one who comes through to win their Commonwealth middleweight bout, stopping Cullen in the eighth.

    “Who da man?!” Cash shouts. Felix da housecat.

  6. ‘It’s hard not to get emotional’

    Crolla v Urquiaga

  7. Better than it looks!

    Luke Reddy

    BBC Sport at the Manchester Arena

    Manchester Arena

    Copyright: .

    Good old Manchester Arena. It may appear a tad dank from the outside and doesn’t quite have the bright lights of the T-Mobile or even the O2 but inside it packs something a bit special.

    Boxing fans will tell your that for big fight atmosphere it’s hard to top. I don’t know if it’s the steep seating inside, the fact us Brits tend to love a pre-fight ale or maybe the sound just bounces off the walls well for some reason. If you’ve never been for a fight night I highly recommend it.

  8. Million Dolla kinda night

    Anthony Crolla

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Hello! One thing is for sure, Anthony Crolla won’tlook back in angerat his career. Nor will it bebetter best forgotten.Ahem.

    Manchester will unite behind the Million Dolla man for one final time shortly, rounding off a packed evening at the Arena which also features a landmark women’s bout for Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

    Can Crolla end his career in style in his home city? Can Taylor hold world titles at two weights?

    Questions, questions. All will be answered over the next couple of hours.

    Katie Taylor

    Copyright: Getty Images

  9. …to the main act

    Crolla v Urquiaga

    Not too long afterwards, while still in his teens, Crolla himself became the focus of the crowd’s gaze, making his professional debut on a Joe Calzaghe undercard.

    Against the odds, and against adversity, he progressed from the support act to the main star of the show.

    He has won title fights there. He has lost title fights there. And now, after the 45th bout of his professional career, the lights will come up for the final time…

    Crolla v Urquiaga

    Copyright: Getty Images

  10. From watching gigs…

    Now, we’re not sure if Anthony Crolla was an indie kid watching Burnage boys Oasis…

    Manchester Arena

    Copyright: Getty Images

    …or whether cheesy 90s popsters Steps was his guilty pleasure…

    Manchester Arena

    Copyright: Getty Images

    …or maybe it was neither. What we do know is that Crolla, like most young Mancs, had his first taste of the Arena going to watch his favourite musical acts…

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