Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares
By: William Holmes
In the early evening on Saturday Showtime will broadcast an international boxing event between Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla for Linares’ WBA Lightweight Title. This is a huge bout in England and will take place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Linares and Crolla met in September in Manchester which saw an exciting back and forth affair in which Linares won with scores of 115-114, 115-113, and 117-111 by unanimous decision. It was the first time that Linares went the full twelve rounds in his career.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom
Mikey Garcia, who will be a guest commentator, has been mandated by the WBC to face the winner of this bout.
The following is a preview of the upcoming WBA Lightweight Title fight.
Jorge Linares (41-3) vs. Anthony Crolla (31-5-3); WBA Lightweight Title
Prior to facing Crolla in September, Linares had never gone twelve rounds in his career. However, that does not mean he has never tasted defeat.
Linares is one year older than Crolla and will have a two inch reach advantage and a slight half an inch height advantage. Both boxers have not been very active in the past two years. Linares fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015 while Crolla fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Linares had the edge in power as he has stopped twenty seven of his opponents while Crolla has stopped thirteen. Crolla only has one stoppage loss. However, every single defeat of Linares was by stoppage and his chin is highly suspect.
Linares has beaten the likes of Anthony Crolla, Ivan Cano, Kevin Mitchell, Rocky Juarez, and Oscar Larios. He lost to Juan Carlos Salgado, Antonio DeMarco, and Sergio Thompson. Linares’ last loss came over four years ago and he won his four of his past five fights by stoppage.
Even though Linares beat Crolla last time, he understands that Crolla will be better prepared this time. He stated at a recent press conference, “Crolla could come better prepared than last time. Maybe he will throw more punches, maybe he will box more, I don’t really know. The most important thing is I hope he has worked really hard and comes in great condition so there are no excuses and no doubts after the fight.”
Crolla has defeated the likes of Ismael Barroso, Darleys Perez, John Murray, and Gavin Rees. He has lost to Derry Matthews, Gary Sykes (x2), Jorge Linares, and a relatively unknown Youssef Al Hamidi early on in his career.
Crolla has acknowledged he needs to come in with a different game plan in order to win. He stated, “This time I know I need to deal with the flashy combinations better, cut the ring off better and capitalize when he is open for shots.”
Linares has a slight edge in amateur experience as he was a national champion in Venezuela as an amateur.
This should be a good fight like last time, and Crolla will get a much needed boost from the hometown crown spurring him on. But, the result will likely be the same as last time if Crolla doesn’t take risks and try to test the questionable chin of Linares.