Crolla targets shot at Burns
Anthony Crolla will set his sights on Ricky Burns' world title if he pulls off a surprise win over Gavin Rees next month.
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Crolla and Rees are due to meet in a bill-topping lightweight clash at the Bolton Arena on June 29, and the Mancunian will enter the ring in front of the Sky Sports cameras as an underdog.
Rees is a former world champion who fought for the WBC belt as recently as February, and Crolla is careful not to look beyond an opponent with a better head-to-head record against common rival Derry Mathews.
But the possibility of landing a shot at WBO champ Burns will act as extra motivation.
Crolla said: "This is for the WBO intercontinental title so that gives the winner a ranking, but some people are saying this fight could serve as a world title eliminator.
"Obviously Ricky Burns has got the WBO title so hopefully I can get a shot if I beat Gavin Rees.
"That doesn't mean I'm looking past Rees, though. He's a fighter I really rate and someone I have the utmost respect for.
"I'm under no illusions. I know I'm going to start as an underdog, but I'm a big believer that styles make fights and I believe I've got the right style to beat Gavin Rees.
"It's going to be a very tough fight and I might have to go through hell and back but I genuinely believe this is a fight I can win.
"I don't know if it's because there's less pressure or not, but being an underdog in the past has always brought the best out of me and I expect it to again."