The draw comes just seven months on from when Crolla suffered a fractured skull and a broken ankle after being hit with a concrete slab when confronting burglars at his neighbours' home.
After an indifferent opening round, Crolla looked to make the first moves with some neat jab work, which he was able to follow up with a crushing right hook to the Colombian's jaw before the end of the second round.
Perez began to show his class as he demonstrated good footwork to weave neatly and register a few blows on Crolla, who continued to do the necessaries to stay within touching distance up until the midway point of the fight.
Crolla's fitness proved to be an important factor in the second half, and he continued to hound his opponent with neat industry on his jab.
As the rounds progressed, Crolla clearly sensed that a victory could be on the cards and he continued to hassle Perez with yet more busy work to arguably take a slender lead on points.
Round 10 saw three big blows register on Perez leaving Crolla to grow in confidence in the final few rounds, although Perez stood firm to land a number of clever points of his own.
Perez came close to registering a few low shots in the contest and he was finally penalised in the 11th round for yet another low one, potentially edging the judges' scores in Crolla's favour as the 12th period loomed.
The Colombian titleholder knew that a knockout would be the only way to retain his title, but he continued to be the architect of his own downfall as he was penalised yet again in the final round for another low blow.
However, some controversial scorecards at the end of the final round allowed Perez to walk away with his title as the contest was given as a draw, much to the dismay of a shocked Manchester crowd.