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Anthony Crolla: I forgive the people who attacked me

Anthony Crolla controversially drew against Darleys Perez in his first fight since his injury back in July Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Anthony Crolla could be forgiven for admitting anger and a sense of injustice are pumping through his veins as he prepares for his rematch with Darleys Perez on November 21.

Yet the former British champion instead shrugs off the lows of a tumultuous year, believing they have made him stronger ahead of once again challenging Colombian Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs) for the WBA world lightweight title in front of his home fans at the Manchester Arena.

"I've become a much stronger person mentally and I've got to take the positive from the last fight," Crolla told ESPN.

"Without a doubt all that has happened in the last year has made me stronger. Obstacles are put in front of you and I've overcome them."

The points draw is not the only obstacle the 28-year-old has had to clear.

Last December, Crolla's career looked over due to injuries sustained in a street attack after he had chased off two burglars from a neighbour's house. Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KOs) suffered a fractured skull and a broken right ankle in two places when the burglars attacked him with a concrete slab once the boxer had caught up.

Instead of fighting for a world title earlier this year, Crolla was fighting to save his career that he was allowed to continue after successful brain scans.

"Without a doubt all that has happened in the last year has made me stronger"

Anthony Crolla

Promoter Eddie Hearn secured a crack at Perez last July, but the points draw verdict was another cruel blow for Crolla, who along with his team thought he had done enough to win his first world title.

But Crolla is not raging against the points decision or how his attackers have managed to escape punishment.

Many fighters channel their anger or ever enter the ring on the cusp of a temper, releasing it like a storm in the ring. Sometimes a boxer's emotions boil over at press conferences, weigh-ins or in interviews. But Crolla, despite the year he has had, has remarkably maintained his equilibrium.

"I've got no idea who it was [that attacked him], it never came out who did it to me, and I'm pretty sure I will never find out," Crolla told ESPN.

"I've got to move on and I hope they have as well, that they are healthy and they are in a better place than robbing people's houses.

"There's no point in being bitter or really angry about it, building anger up inside you, because I will never find out the answer to who did it. It doesn't do you any good.

"My dream of becoming world champion in is still on track so I don't hold any grudges. I forgive them."

Crolla hopes to benefit from being mentally stronger for this fight than he was the first time he fought Perez.

"The last time I fought Perez there were a lot of emotions involved," Crolla told ESPN.

"This time it's strictly business.

"They say you go in believing you can win a fight but now I go in knowing I can beat Darleys Perez. I beat him in most people's eyes before, now I have to do it again. There are a few ways I can beat Darleys Perez."