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Crolla vs. Linares: Froch picks Anthony by stoppage

Carl Froch Jorge Linares Crolla vs. Linares


By Scott Gilfoid: Despite WBA World lightweight champion Anthony Crolla facing the arguably more talented fighter than himself in Jorge Linares tonight, Carl Froch is going out on the limb by selecting Crolla to win. Froch thinks Crolla will be knocking the 31-year-old Linares out when the two of them get inside the ring at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.

Just so boxing fans know, Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs) has a knockout percentage of 34%, which is not very high. If you’re going to predict a victory, history would show that Crolla is not likely to win by a knockout. I’m just saying.

Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom Boxing

Yeah, Crolla knocked out Colombian Darleys Perez in the 5th round last November and stopped little known Ismael Barroso in his last fight in May, but who did those guys ever beat to make you think they were good? Perez was soundly beaten by Yuriorkis Gamboa by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in 2013. Perez’s wins came against mediocre fighters.

The 33-year-old Barroso’s best win of his career came against Kevin Mitchell last December n stopping him in the 5th round. Mitchell was at the end of the line with his career after having been stopped in the 10th round by Linares in May 2015. Crolla is NOT a knockout puncher. I think Froch has got Crolla confused for somebody else.

Froch said to Skysports.com:

“Crolla just does the job and he will do this job well. He will get to Linares like he did with [Darleys] Perez and [Ismael] Barroso and I will always go on points, but we could even be looking at a late stoppage.”

I’m sorry, Froch, but you’re prediction is COMPLETELY out in left field, so I have to completely ignore it. I don’t know what you were thinking when you came off with this bizarre pick. If anyone is going to get knocked out in this fight, it’s going to be Crolla. Linares has a KO percentage of 63. Now compare that to the woeful 34% KO percentage for Crolla. Linares = 63% and Crolla = 34% for knockout percentage.

The recently knocked out Kell Brook seems to have his feet more on the ground than Froch with his pick for the Crolla-Linares fight. Brook sees it as a competitive fight. He thinks Crolla will win, but he doesn’t sound certain though.

“I am leaning towards Crolla,” said Brook to skysports.com.

Crolla is a -180 favorite to win the fight, according to Fight News. Linares is at +158. Of course, that doesn’t mean anything at all, because we often see the boxing odds-makes picking wrong all the times. Linares has the superior power, boxing skills, experience and skills compared to Crolla. The main thing that Crolla has in his favor is the fight taking place in his own hometown at the anchester Arena, which means the fans will be screaming tonight for everything he does inside the ring.

If Crolla even looks over in Linares’ direction, the fans will likely start bleating, and going mad. You can argue that some judges eat that stuff up and score rounds based on cheering rather than on what’s actually happening inside the ring. Who can forget the two judges that gave Kell Brook the 1st round in his fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Brook was staggered with a left hook from Golovkin and moving around the ring like a drunk after taking that shot. But instead of giving the round to Golovkin for having badly hurt Brook, two of the judges scored it against him. Why? All I can think is because Brook’s boxing fans were going mad about the tiny handful of shots that he landed in the round, which had zero effect on Golovkin. He walked through those shots and staggered Brook. Brook’s fans didn’t make a sound after Golovkin hurt Brook. If Crolla is going to be getting cheered all night long for anything he does, its’s going to be tough on Linares to win rounds.

In Linares’ fight against Kevin Mitchell last year, I had Linares winning eight of the nine rounds going into the 10th. The judges had it scored 85-85, 88-82 [Ian John Lewis] and 86-84 for Mitchell. Linares stopped Mitchell in the 10th. If he hadn’t gotten the knockout, it’s hard to say if he would have won the fight. But the scoring for the fight was so incredibly bad that I couldn’t believe it.

All I can think of is the pro-Mitchell audience had the judges thinking that he was doing better than he actually was, and they in turn were unconsciously influenced by the cheering. That’s about all I can think as an explanation for the judges giving Mitchell so many rounds, because if you watch the fight, you’ll see Linares giving Mitchell a boxing lesson from start to finish. Mitchell was loading up with left hooks all night long, and missing by a mile. The only thing Mitchell landed with an elbow in the 5th round that knocked Linares down. I thought it shouldn’t have been scored a knockdown, given that it wasn’t a punch that landed. I mean, if fighters are able to score knockdowns off of elbows, then I guess boxing needs to change to have elbow pads put on so that part of the body can be used in landing shots.

Anyway, it was a badly scored fight in my opinion. I think Crolla might be able to get the same kind of scoring tonight if the judges are influenced by the crowd noise. I hope the judges are professional and are able to separate the cheering from what is actually going on inside the ring in the fight, but I kind of doubt they’ll be able to do this.

I think the racket that Crolla’s loyal following will be making tonight with their cheering and singing of songs may make it hard for Linares to be given one round, even if he’s dominating. I’m just saying. I think boxing needs better judges. It would be bad news for the sport if Crolla is given a controversial decision that the fans don’t agree with. I already saw three controversial Crolla fights in the past against Gavin Rees, Derry Mathews [fight 2] and Darleys Perez [fight 1]. thought Crolla should have lost all three of those fights.

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