Anthony Crolla: 'I'm ready for Ismael Barroso clash'

Anthony Crolla (L) and Darleys Perez during their WBA World Lightweight Championship bout at the Manchester Arena on November 21, 2015 in Manchester, England.
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WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla says that he feels ready for the challenge that awaits him when facing Ismael Barroso on Saturday night.

British lightweight Anthony Crolla has acknowledged that he is facing a tough challenge when he defends his WBA title against Ismael Barroso on Saturday night.

Crolla won the belt in November by stopping Darleys Perez inside five rounds but he is rated as the marginal underdog by the bookmakers for his showdown with Barroso, who earned his shot at the world title by stopping Kevin Mitchell in December.

However, despite facing an opponent who has won his last 10 fights inside the distance, Crolla insists that he is confident of successfully retaining his belt at the Manchester Arena.

The 29-year-old told Sky Sports News: "I feel fantastic, I have had a great camp and worked really hard since the New Year after seeing Ismael Barroso win in December, I have had my mind on that fight and studied him.

"He's a very good fighter and I have got a tough night on Saturday but it's a fight that I am very confident that I am going to come through."

Crolla has won 30 of his 37 bouts as a professional while Barroso is unbeaten in 21 outings in the paid ranks.

Anthony Crolla celebrates after beating Gavin Rees (not pictured) after the WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight championship fight at Bolton Arena on June 29, 2013
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