By William Trillo
Looks like good ol’ McGarry has more to say about this exciting boxing month. This guy is on a roll with three successive weekend Mail Pouch submissions.
Allow me to step back and allow Mc Garry to give us his view on the fights coming from Manchester today.
Dear Mr. Trillo,
Today is the third Saturday in September featuring world class boxing. This time, it’s a lightweight world title unification fight between WBA champion Anthony Crolla and WBC champion (and Ring Magazine) Jorge Linares. The fight takes place in Crolla’s home town, Manchester.
The visitor is a three-weight world champion and has fought in the UK before. That was against Kevin Mitchell is a very exciting scrap that saw both guys visit the canvas before a severe swelling over Mitchell’s eye left him unable to box beyond the tenth round.
At the time of that fight in May of last year, Anthony Crolla was preparing for his first fight since a near fatal injury almost brought an end to his career. Several months before, Crolla had spotted a couple of burglars trying to break into a neighbour’s house. While trying to stop them, Anthony had his skull fractured by a concrete block and suffered several other serious injuries. And yet just seven months later, he was fighting for a world title and leaving the ring with a hotly disputed draw against Darleys Perez on his record.
Since then, Crolla has won a rematch with Perez and had a successful defence against the hard hitting Ismael Barroso. In both cases, he followed a game plan to perfection and ended the bouts early with sickeningly-hard body shots.
Meanwhile, the visitor from Venezuela has won his last nine fights. That said, he hasn’t fought in 11 months, so ring rust may be a factor. His opponent will be well aware that Linares has been stopped on the three occasions he has lost in the ring. Also, Kevin Mitchell was probably the best opponent Jorge faced in the nine fight streak, and that was an awfully close affair. Crolla is definitely better than Mitchell was. Has Linares slipped since then?
My prediction: this is a very good match between two excellent lightweights. A good argument could be made for either to walk away with the win. I think the key difference is Crolla has learned the lessons from his first world title fight – he channels the energy lift he gets from fighting at home into a much more disciplined performance than for his earlier scraps and follows a well thought out plan to the letter. His body shots are now as good as any high profile fighter in the sport today, and they could wear the Venezuelan down in a war of attrition. Crolla to win a narrow margin on points.
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