Anthony Crolla Vs Jorge Linares II – Preview and Prediction

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Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares will meet again six months after their first pulsating encounter in September last year, the WBA world lightweight crown will again be on the line alongside the WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine belts, but this time it will be Linares who will be defending champion following his unanimous decision victory in the first fight.

The Manchester Arena will again be erupting with chants for hometown favourite and the popular Anthony Crolla as he looks to close the gap on Linares and overturn what seemed to be a difference in levels in the first fight.

The bout will be live on Sky Sports one in the UK from 7 pm, the undercard also features Brian Rose V Jack Arnfield and Olympic Gold medallist, Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

Having already written Crolla off a couple of times in his career I actually went with Crolla to pull it off in the first fight, he is for me one of the most improved fighters in the UK in recent years and has gone from domestic level to world level very quickly.

Having seen Linares crumble under fire on a couple of occasions in his career I really felt if Crolla could pile on the pressure he had a great chance of wearing Linares down. However Linares was sensational in the first fight and really showed he was a class or two above Crolla and was able to keep Crolla honest most of the night.

Scorecards were 115-114, 115-113 and 117-111 to indicate a close bout but in reality 117-111 was the closest scorecard in relation to the actual fight that I saw take place, Crolla was outclassed for most of it.

Of course you can never write Anthony Crolla off, this is a man who has come back from career threatening injuries and setback losses to exceed all expectations and become a world champion.

However I am struggling to see what he can do differently from the first fight to really change things around in his favor, Linares can be hurt as we have seen on a few occasions in his career and I get the feeling that might be Crolla’s best chance in this fight, to hurt Linares and stop him. A points victory is going to be a big ask against such a skillful guy like Linares.

That is not saying Crolla can’t pull it off, he can, but I think he needs a career best performance and while that may well still be in Crolla’s locker, the smart money for me goes on Jorge Linares this weekend.

PREDICTION: LINARES UD

BETTING TIP: 1 pt on Linares by decision 6/4 Betfred

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