Anthony Crolla recounts the confrontation with burglars that left him with a fractured skull
Manchester boxer suffered the injury in 2015 after a concrete slab struck him, although he has since returned to the ring20:37 Tuesday 6 February 2018, 20:37 6 Feb 2018
Back in October 2017, Anthony Crolla got himself back to winning ways in front of a home crowd in Manchester.
A pair of defeats against Colombian Jorge Linares which straddled 2016 and 2017 left lightweight Crolla without the WBA world title he'd earned in 2015.
But now the aim is to return to the world title status he once held.
His story inside and outside the ring is compelling and he joined Joe for a chat about some extraordinary challenges he has had to face including suffering a fractured skull and broken ankle following an altercation with some escaping burglars in 2015.
"As I went home and pulled up outside my door, next door's alarm is going off and you don't think anything of it. I phoned my neighbour and said, 'Your alarm is going off and no one's in,'" said Crolla.
"I just looked over the back garden and as I looked over, I was trying to work out was it a shadow or not in the window. And then the next thing a burglar popped his head out."
Crolla attempted to doing something about the situation but by confronting the burglars, a serious injury would occur.
Anthony Crolla (left) and Ricky Burns during the weigh-in at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Manchester. Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images
"I see there's two of them so I catch them both up. I just thought, 'There's no way these two are going to get away from me here'. Anyway I cornered them but I thought it's going to be hard to walk back with two of them so I thought, 'I'm going to take one back, he's going to have to tell on his mate, his partner in crime'.
"The other one started climbing the fence, getting away. So a bit of bad luck - there just happens to be a loose concrete slab and a few seconds later, it comes down on my head from a height and it knocks you down to one knee. It didn't knock me out but I thought, 'Oh, my God'. I knew straight away that it wasn't a punch and I went down on my ankle and I went to stand up and the other one then had jumped over and got away."
And on the concrete slab, he added, "I'm pretty sure it was thrown at me", based on his body position, while the burglars were never caught.
Taken to hospital after the incident, he had fractured his skull and broken his ankle "in a few places".
He also discussed the difficulty of dealing with the injury suffered by opponent Kieran Farrell after their December 2012 fight. The latter suffered brain damage during the fight and ultimately had to retire from boxing the following year.
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now