Anthony Crolla is backing Hosea Burton to upset the local favourite when he takes to the ring in Latvia on Saturday night. Burton takes on Ricards Botelniks in the semi-final of the 'Golden Contract' tournament in Riga.
Since hanging up the gloves, Crolla has been helping Joe Gallagher train his former stablemates along with coaching his own professional fighters. Speaking to Maverick Stars from the fight hotel in Riga, 'Million Dollar' reckons it's now Burton's time to shine.
"I've said it all along, if the best Hosea turns up he wins this tournament," Anthony said. "He has very very underrated punching power. Every sparring partner says the same thing."
The dangerous Botelniks beat Steven Ward with a first round knockout in his previous fight, but the big Belfast man was weight-drained.
"With Botelniks, he caught Steven Ward with a great shot but I think the weight played a huge part," Anthony explained. "There's no denying the weight played a big part in that. On Saturday night, Hosea's got to be switched on from the very start, and that's put a little bit of fear into him. He always fights best when that happens."
With press obligations and the weigh-in, there's never much down-time during fight week, but Anthony, Joe, Hosea and his brother Chase have had chance to have a look around and take in a few of Riga's sights.
"It's a great city," said Anthony. "They've had a very low infection and death rate with COVID so things are pretty much normal here. I'm told it's a bit quieter with tourists and we're here on a job, but we are having a look around and it's a lovely city. The people have been great for us and I'm really looking forward to Saturday night. It's a massive night for Hosea Burton - the biggest night of his career."