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21 APRIL 2018

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SecondsOut Team Picks: Crolla Vs Linares

World lightweight champion Anthony Crolla defends his title against Jorge Linares in Manchester, England on Saturday night and SecondOut’s writers once again put their reputations on the line to predict the outcome.


See below who our writers believe will be victorious.


Jorge Linares is among the most technically sound fighters of this century. Skill-wise, he is clearly the best at lightweight. However, boxing involves more than just skills and his paper skin and shaky chin bring him down several notches in terms of where he rates in the lightweight division and certainly the sport as a whole. I don’t believe we have seen Linares against a world-class foe for quite some time and that has been by managerial design. Since back to back losses to Antonio Demarco (2011) and Sergio Thompson (2012), we have only seen a protected Linares. Kevin Mitchell, a fringe contender at best, gave the champion a terrible run for his money in Linares’ most significant run as WBC light weight champion. Linares, to his credit, does not shy away from his fight even though it is not in his best interest. Once hurt, he tries to respond and can be easily finished during these heated exchanges. Anthony Crolla has been a fighter and champion on the rise each time out since his 2013 draw with Derry Mathews. His body attack is rapidly approaching the top of the game. In his last two showings he has finished legit world class opposition in Darlys Perez and Ismael Barroso with opposing hooks to the body. Crolla will serve himself to crowd Linares. I’ll never begrudge him his body attack, but he will have to go to the head to get Linares out of there. Joe Gallagher will once again have Crolla in the "eye of the storm". Running and hiding will only lead to a points loss to Linares. The sooner he gets the pressure on Linares, the sooner Team Crolla goes home. I expect a stoppage somewhere around the eighth. Linares will be cut early by a steady Crolla jab and once the blood flows the champion from Manchester will zero in with the right hand.


Crolla tko 8.

Derek Bonnett




I see this fight in one of two ways. If Linares can keep Crolla at bay by using all his superior boxing skills then I see the Venezuelan born boxer nicking a close points win but if Crolla can take the fight to Linares and force him into a fire fight then Crolla should prevail. It’s a tough one but I feel the experience Linares has gained over the years against the tougher opposition will see him deliver a close but unanimous points win.


Linares pts 12

Clive Bernath




This should be one of the better fights we see this year, two very talented fighters, and both coming off knockout wins against thier last opponents. The WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine titles will be up for grabs when Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares meet this weekend in the ring. For Linares, a win would give him a shot at Dejan Zlaticanin, the current WBC lightweight champion. It’s a belt he used to own, but was stripped of the title recently after he was unable to defend the title against Zlaticanin due to a hand injury. Without a doubt, Anthony is a talented fighter. He looked very impressive in his knockout win over Ismael Barrasco last May, but he will need to be even better when he faces Linares and his deadly precision punches. Having the fight in Manchester is definitely a plus for Crolla, the odds appear to be in his favor. We will know this weekend if the hand injury to Linares is truly healed, the fight will indeed be interesting. Expect an action-packed fight with toe-to-toe action. I see Linares winning this fight by knockout in the later rounds 8 or 9, but only after a stubborn and crafty Crolla gets caught with a combination and shots to the body.


Linares w ko 8-9

Ron Valderrama






The trick to beating the aging Linares is to catch him in the next fight after his last good effort. That’s not due quite yet. Since the officiating in UK is not corrupt, a skilled boxer has a reasonable chance. Crolla dogs him and puts up a good effort but Linares’ skills just a little too much.


Linares pts 12

  1. R. Jowett








Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla make for a compelling fight. Both are similar in size and haven’t tasted defeat in a little while. Linares is the more skilled of the two while Crolla may be the grittier. Fighting in his home town will help Crolla in close rounds. Linares will need to get off to a good start and box smart before he ends up in another bloody affair. If he can stay clean I think his skill set will lead him to victory. I’ll roll the dice and go with Linares in a close one.


Linares w pts 12

Derek Gionta

Pittsburgh, PA








Crolla = 1

Linares = 4


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