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Jorge Linares vs. Anthony Crolla this Saturday night

By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Crolla will be getting a second shot at beating WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares this Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Besides the WBA title, the WBC Diamond and Ring lightweight title will be on the line. It’s nice that those titles will be up for grabs in the Linares-Crolla fight.

When you realize that Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. both hold titles in the same lightweight division, it kind of gives one the impression that the Linares vs. Crolla fight is more of a lower level contest and not for the No.1 fighter in the division. I think Crolla and Linares are fine fighters, but I can’t see either of them lasting long against Mikey Garcia or Easter Jr. WBO champion Terry Flanagan would also likely beat Crolla ad Linares without any problems. I can’t see him ever getting a fight with either of them, but I think he’d beat them quite easily.
Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) lost his WBA title to Linares last September by a 12 round unanimous decision.

Linares barely beat Crolla last September in winning by the scores 115-114, 115-113 and 117-111. The fight took place in Manchester. The 117-111 score is what boxing news 24 scored it for Linares. It wasn’t a close fight, as far as I’m concerned. Linares was the better fighter by far of the two on the night.

Linares had Crolla hurt from a shot to the bread basket in round 6 last September. Crolla never seemed to recover that body shot, as he fought with little energy for the remainder of the fight. Linares was fighting with a hurt right hand from round 6, and yet he was still able to dominate the action.

You can argue that it’s not all that fair to the contenders in the World Boxing Association’s top 15 that Crolla is getting a second fight with Linares, because he should be getting in the back of the line after losing last time. Crolla keeps getting second chances when he fails to win fights.

We saw that in Crolla’s first fight with former WBA lightweight champion Darley’s Perez in July 2015, which resulted in a 12 round draw. Instead of Crolla having to go back to the end of the line due to him failing to win the fight, he got an immediate rematch with Perez. There was more than a little controversy surrounding the results of the first Perez-Crolla fight due to the referee taking points off from Perez, the champion, in rounds 11 and 12 for low blows. The point deductions allowed Crolla to make up ground in the fight to get a draw.

In both occasions, however, Crolla pulled down on the back of Perez’s head while he was throwing punches, and that caused his shots in the 11th and 12th to stray low. The referee shouldn’t have counted those as low blows because Perez was having his head pulled down repeatedly by Crolla. The fight took place in Crolla’s hometown of Manchester at the Manchester Arena. I had Perez willing that fight by a lopsided 12 round decision even with the two point deductions in the 11th and 12th. I thought it was one of the worst scored fights I’d ever seen before.

It’s kind of hard for me to get motivated about the Crolla vs. Linares fight due to the lightweight division having Mikey Garcia, Robert Easter Jr. and Terry Flanagan as title holders. The winner of the Linares-Crolla fight will technically be Ring Magazine’s No.1 fighter in the lightweight division, but I won’t be able to take that seriously given that Mikey Garcia, Easter Jr. and Flanagan are out there in the same division. You can throw in Dejan Zlaticanin’s name as someone that I can see beating Crolla and Linares.

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