NORTH-WEST fans’ favourite Ricky Hatton heaped praise on rookie Burnley boxer, Smokin Joe Crawford, after another super show from the Sandygate boy.
The 11-year-old fight prospect produced a magnificent performance in front of the television cameras to claim a split decision win over England number three Lerone Harrison from Manchester at Chorley's Park Hall Hotel.
Hatton was clearly impressed.
“Joe was great, he is definitely one to watch in the future,” said Hatton, who clearly rates the Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club youngster.
Crawford’s street-wise opponent, a former kick-boxing champion and National ABA Minors finalist, had carried an unblemished record going into the ring for the three round, one and a half minute contests.
The first round saw Crawford constantly moving forward on the attack, working off his jab and using a cracking rear hand upper-cut as Harrison was caught off-guard.
Harrison hit back strongly, controlling the second round as Crawford, despite losing his footing, showed great composure to remain firmly in the contest.
The final round produced some thrilling boxing, and the Ighten Hill lad kept his guard tight and Crawford’s no-nonsense approach saw him catch Harrison with a peach of an uppercut while working off the ropes.
The split decision went in Crawford’s favour 29-28, to the delight of the huge Burnley support.