Crolla vs. Linares Preview

By Robert Ecksel on September 23, 2016
Crolla vs. Linares Preview
His rise to the top of the lightweight division is the stuff from which dreams are made.

“The boy Linares can punch. Jorge is a fantastic fighter and it’s another mountain to climb, but these are the tests that I thrive on…”

Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs), the Cinderella Man fighting out of Manchester, defends his WBA lightweight title against former three-weight champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs), the slick warrior from Tokyo, Japan, by way of Barinas, Venezuela.

Crolla’s rise to the top of the lightweight division is the stuff from which dreams are made. With four losses and three draws in 38 fights, and possessing okay power, he was always often observed, but admiration came at a cost.

That has changed. In his last two fights, “Million Dollar” knocked out two very tough hombres, Darleys Perez (32-1-1 at the time), from the mean streets of San Pedro de Uraba, Colombia, in November 2015, and undefeated Ismael Barroso (19-0-2 coming in), from the aptly named El Tigre, Venezuela, six months later.

Those fights put Crolla on the map. He went from flying beneath the radar at 135 to being the man to beat.

Linares has won titles at three different weights and takes to the road the way a fish takes to water. He’ll fight Crolla in Manchester, in his backyard, in his living room, it’s all the same to Jorge Linares.

“I love fighting in my opponent’s back yard,” said Linares, “with all the noise that comes from all their fans. But their supporters cannot get in the ring with their fighter. It’s just me and him.”

“The fans are excited for this one,” continued Linares. “We’re both world class fighters and world champions that are willing to fight each other, as we’re proving in this one. There’s no need to trash talk or build the fight up, it’s a great fight and there’s lots of respect between us.

“The best fighter on the night is going to win, and I think that’s going to be me.”

Not if Anthony Crolla has anything to say about it.

“The boy Linares can punch,” Crolla told Sky Sports. “Jorge is a fantastic fighter and it’s another mountain to climb, but these are the tests that I thrive on. I’m coming off two career-best performances. I’ve beaten two great fighters in Perez and Barroso and I’m confident that I can beat Jorge, too.

“Technically, he’s brilliant. He’s got great feet. I’ve watched and admired him for many years but I won’t be overawed when I get in there. Like all fighters, he’s got vulnerabilities and I plan to take advantage of those. Respect will go out the window from that first bell.

“Linares has seen a lot but he won’t have experienced anything like this.”

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  1. Koolz 04:31pm, 09/24/2016

    Linares is such a better boxing, better movement, better combos, he is way above Crolla.

  2. The Thresher 01:03pm, 09/23/2016

    Linares was Edwin Valero’s’ buddy and they both lived and fought out of Tokyo. Not unusual at all. Long ago, the Russian did the same thing and many were legendary fighters. This one has FOTY written all over it.

  3. Eric 10:40am, 09/23/2016

    Don’t really keep up with the small guys at all these days so I had to do a search on these guys. Had no idea that Crolla was attacked with a slab of concrete a couple of years ago by some yufes doing what yufes do. Glad to see Mr. Crolla is back. Tokyo by way of Venezuela?? How da fruck does that happen?? Good gawd, so it taint so, Japan.

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