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  Linares vs. Crolla II Final Press Conference

Photos: Matchroom Boxing


Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla held a final press conference on Thursday in Manchester, England, for their rematch this Saturday for the WBA Lightweight World Championship, live on SHOWTIME (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT) from Manchester Arena.

Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) dethroned Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) in a close, back-and-forth battle last September in Manchester to capture the WBA crown. The Sept. 24 match was the first time the three-division titlist Linares was pushed the 12-round distance in his nine career world title fights.

Crolla has had success in immediate rematches. In 2015, he challenged Darley Perez for the WBA Lightweight Title and fought to a draw. Four months later, he knocked out Perez in five rounds to win the 135-pound title.

WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia will join the SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL announce team as a guest analyst alongside host Brian Custer and analysts Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi.

Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), who won the WBC belt in emphatic fashion this January on SHOWTIME, may be scouting his future opponent the WBC has mandated that the winner of Linares-Crolla II must face Garcia.

Heres what the fighters had to say at Thursdays press conference:


I know once again I have everyone against me in his backyard, but thats why I trained hard.

Im not coming in here feeling like the champion. Im coming in here feeling like the challenger because I know I have to win very clear to go back home with a win.

It's going to be a different Crolla this time. I have to perform like I know I can to defend my belts.

I had a great camp. Im anxious. I cant wait to show you on Saturday night, put it all together and return home with my belts.


I've always been better going in as the underdog. I know on Saturday night Im going to need to be the very best Anthony Crolla to beat Jorge Linares. I really believe that if I show the improvements that Ive made in the gym then Ill get my belt back.

I hope he comes in looking for the knockout. If Jorge comes looking for the knockout he breaks away from what hes best at. And, if he does so, I believe it falls right into my hands.

"I've got to be cutting off the ring quicker this time. I've got to respond in bunches a little bit more. There are so many obstacles that are going to be put in front of me from Jorge Linares, but I believe I will have an answer for every one of them.

"It was one of the fights of the year last time. I can certainly see us both being even better this time.

Theres a lot of people out there who think there is no way I can beat Jorge Linares, but I believe on Saturday night Ill prove an awful lot of people wrong.


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