Anthony Crolla says a win over Ricky Burns would put him back in the picture.
Anthony Crolla admits a win is vital for both parties when he takes on Ricky Burns in their British lightweight battle, live on Sky Sports.
The former world champions meet on October 7 at the Manchester Arena, each coming into the fight off the back of world title defeats.
Crolla stopped Darleys Perez to claim the WBA lightweight belt in 2015 but conceded the title in a rematch defeat to Jorge Linares in March and knows defeat to Burns would be difficult to recover from.
“There’s an awful lot at stake,” he told Sky Sports News.
“The winner almost guarantees themselves a world title shot, or thereabouts, whereas a loser has to go back and do some thinking and it’s a tough road back.
Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns will face off next month at the Manchester Arena
“I see every fight as a must-win fight because it then scuppers your plans for future fights if it’s to go wrong, for a fight that’s upcoming.”
Crolla’s opponent Burns defeated Michele Di Rocco in Glasgow last May to become WBA world super-lightweight champion and consequently made history as Scotland’s first ever three-weight champion, but lost the title in April with a points defeat to Julius Indongo.
“I know with a fighter like Ricky I’ve got to be at my very best to beat him,” Crolla said.
“He has been at the top level and he’s fought at the top level against pound-for-fight fighters and he’s more than held his own.”
“With weaknesses, I don’t want to say too much, but am I confident with what I’ve been watching.
“I’ve studied and studied him and I’m confident that on October 7 I’ll go in there and I’ll execute my plan and I’m confident I’ll find those weaknesses.”
Crolla is confident victory over Burns would thrust him back into the limelight but revealed a possible defeat wouldn’t lead to him retiring from the sport.
“Ricky’s a three-way world champion and he’d be an important name to have on my record,” he added.
“We’re both coming off world title defeats, with no shame against very good fighters.
Crolla lost to Jorge Linares in March
“To win this puts you right back in the picture to get another world title shot and that’s what we both want. We both want to win world titles again.
“I’m 30-years-young. I’m not planning on retiring any time soon. I believe I’m still improving as a fighter. I see this as a fight that’s a very tough fight but a fight that I can win.”