Anthony Crolla handed rematch with lightweight rival Derry Mathews in March
Last Updated: 03/01/13 6:40am
Anthony Crolla will renew his rivalry with Derry Mathews
Anthony Crolla will get the chance to avenge his defeat by Derry Mathews after their rematch was confirmed for 30 March.
The pair served up a thrilling British title battle in April with Mathews emerging as the new lightweight champion after pulling off a surprise stoppage of Crolla in the sixth round.
A big uppercut floored Crolla heavily in the third round, but he battled back bravely, hurting the Liverpudlian with body shots before Mathews halted him with a barrage of punches.
Crolla has since put his career back on track, claiming the English title with a hard fought win over Kieran Farrell, while Mathews ended the year with two wins after losing the Lonsdale belt in a defeat by Gavin Rees.
Mathews recently admitted he was willing to hand Crolla a return bout and the Mancunian has accepted the challenge as the duo will contest the Commonwealth crown on a bill topped by Tony Bellew at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
"If I had lost to Anthony I would have retired but the win gave me the shot at Gavin Rees' European title in another cracking fight," said Mathews.
"I had a big year last year and I'm targeting more of the same in 2013, and to do that I have to get off to a great start against Anthony.
"It could be a really huge year for me and to open it with a big fight in Liverpool is fantastic."
Crolla is delighted to get his shot at redemption and hopes to silence Mathews' hometown support with a win.
"This is the fight I wanted more than any other out there so I'm really pleased that we've got it done," he said.
"Anyone who was there that night or who watched it on Sky Sports will be as delighted as we are too that the rematch is on as it was such a great fight.
"Derry came into my backyard and beat me in the first one so I have to turn the tables on him and do the same in Liverpool so it's going to be a great atmosphere and a tough fight but one that I'm confident of winning."