Anthony Crolla
Anthony Crolla thought he had done enough to beat Darleys Perez in Manchester on Saturday night.Getty

Anthony Crolla was denied the chance to become WBA world lightweight champion after his title bout against Darleys Perez ended in a draw at the Manchester Arena on 18 July.

Crolla, fighting for the first time since sustaining a fractured skull and a damaged ankle during a confrontation with burglars at his home in December that led to the cancellation of his match against Richar Abril, was far from overawed for much of the contest against his Colombian opponent, who even had two points deducted.

He was controversially denied the victory, however, despite one scorecard being returned 116-111 in his favour as the two other judges rated the bout at 114-113 to Perez and 113-113 for the draw.

"I thought I'd done enough to be world champion," a disappointed Crolla told Sky Sports afterwards.

"But Perez is a great fighter and I'm sure the Manchester crowd will want to see him back again – we'll go again.

"I'm bitterly disappointed not to have the world title to take home with me. I thought I'd done enough but I won't sit around crying. I got hit low throughout the fight but Howard Foster is a great referee who judged that how he saw it."

Elsewhere on a busy night of title fights for British boxers, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg remain on a collision course for a potential unification contest after they both successfully retained their super-bantamweight belts with respective wins over Alejandro Gonzalez Jr and Kiko Martinez.

IBF champion Frampton, who like Crolla was also forced to contend with illegal low blows, showed great powers of resilience to bounce back from two first-round knockdowns in El Paso, Texas, taking a hugely exciting fight via a unanimous decision with scores of 116-108, 116-108 and 115-109.

Long-time rival and WBA title-holder Quigg was not given a particularly stern test of his credentials, meanwhile, surprising the crowd by blowing away Martinez inside two rounds after landing a fierce uppercut that disorientated the Spaniard before he was sent crashing to the canvas.

Referee Terry O'Connor stopped proceedings after that second knockdown, leaving Quigg shocked that he had not been taken the distance.

"I was expecting 12 tortuous rounds," he told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. "I was welling up in the ring because hopefully now I'll get some credit. It is everything I've wanted as a kid.

"The first round was how we knew it would be. He was very nervous, so was sharp and on edge, and I had to see what he was doing.

"But I got my range and we knew he would be confident and come out quickly in the second, and knew he would walk on to my shot."