CROLLA AIMS TO HIT VE­GAS JACK­POT

Midweek Sport - - TV GUIDE - By JOHN PERCY

AN­THONY CROLLA bids to shine brighter than the Las Ve­gas strip when he boxes in the world fight cap­i­tal on Satur­day night.

The Bri­tish light­weight cham­pion faces Mex­i­can Juan Mon­tiel in his Sin City de­but on the Vic­tor Or­tiz-Floyd May­weather Jr un­der­card.

Man­cu­nian Crolla had been train­ing to fight Mex­i­can leg­end Erik Mo­rales at the MGM Grand Gar­den, but the fight col­lapsed.

Crolla, who will have 300 fans roar­ing him on, said: “I was dev­as­tated when the Mo­rales fight fell through, but these things hap­pen.

“If some­one had told me when I turned pro­fes­sional that one day I would box on a ma­jor card like this I would have been made up.

“I still have a chance to shine and if I put on a good show it can only in­crease my chances of get­ting a ma­jor fight.

“I even can­celled a sum­mer hol­i­day, but it was worth it be­cause I now have this fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity.”

Crolla, 24, who ar­rived in the world’s fight cap­i­tal at the week­end, be­lieves Mon­tiel will pro­vide a stern test de­spite hav­ing won just five of 12 fights.

Crolla, who once au­di­tioned for the X Fac­tor but only lasted a minute in front of judges singing a Back­street Boys song, has won 21 of his 23 pro­fes­sional con­tests.

He be­lieves the bout will be ideal prepa­ra­tion for a forth­com­ing Bri­tish ti­tle de­fence against Scot Wil­lie Li­mond.

He added: “Ig­nore Mon­tiel’s record. He is no mug and last time out he drew with Car­los Molina, who was 14-0 un­til then.

“I have been in the gym all sum­mer and I can use this fight as part of my train­ing for the Li­mond fight.

“Some might say this is a big risk, but to ap­pear on the same bill as May­weather is a dream come true.

“The of­fer to fight on the card came in a text when I was asleep. I looked at it, fell back asleep and thought it had been a dream.”

Risk

SVEN GO­RAN ERIKS­SON is scrap­ping to save his job at Le­ices­ter and faces FIVE crunch games to avoid the axe.

The Foxes’ Thai own­ers are un­der­stood to be grow­ing in­creas­ingly con­cerned af­ter an av­er­age start to the sea­son.

The former Eng­land coach forked out over £12mil­lion in the sum­mer – but the ti­tle favourites have only picked up two Cham­pi­onship wins so far this sea­son.

Le­ices­ter’s board are pre­pared to stump up even more cash in the New Year to ful­fil their burn­ing am­bi­tion of tak­ing the Foxes into the Premier League.

But Eriks­son is cer­tain to face the sack if he fails to mas­ter­mind a re­vival this month – af­ter be­ing told that miss­ing out on pro­mo­tion will be “a big fail­ure”.

Chair­man Vichai Rak­sri­ak­sorn’s son Apichet said: “I ex­pect us to chal­lenge for the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle and be in the Premier League next sea­son.

“If we can’t get up to the top tier soon, at least within the next few sea­sons, we will view that as a big fail­ure.

“For me, it will be very dis­ap­point­ing if it doesn’t hap­pen this sea­son.”

Eriks­son faces Cham­pi­onship pace-set­ters Brighton this week­end be­fore two vis­its to Cardiff in the Car­ling Cup and Cham­pi­onship.

Le­ices­ter then play Mid­dles­brough and lo­cal ri­vals Derby and Eriks­son badly needs wins af­ter a re­cruit­ment drive never be­fore seen in the Cham­pi­onship.

Jer­maine Beck­ford’s ar­rival on dead­line day was his 12th sign­ing – and if there is a rapid im­prove­ment Sven has been promised even more cash to spend in the New Year.

Rak­sri­ak­sorn added: “Sven has all the say on what and who he wants.

“He has as­sem­bled a strong squad. How­ever, if he feels he needs to add to it, we will back him dur­ing the next trans­fer win­dow with what­ever funds and re­sources he needs.”

(be­low)

BIG CHANCE: An­thony

Crolla HAIRY BUSI­NESS: Sven is feel­ing the heat at Le­ices­ter

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