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
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.
Here’s what the fighters had to say at Thursday’s press
“I know once again I have everyone against me in his
backyard, but that’s why I trained hard.
“I’m not coming in here feeling like the champion. I’m
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. I’m anxious. I can’t wait to show you
on Saturday night, put it all together and return home with
“I've always been better going in as the underdog. I know on
Saturday night I’m going to need to be the very best Anthony
Crolla to beat Jorge Linares. I really believe that if I
show the improvements that I’ve made in the gym then I’ll
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 he’s best
at. And, if he does so, I believe it falls right into my
"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.
“There’s a lot of people out there who think there is no way
I can beat Jorge Linares, but I believe on Saturday night
I’ll prove an awful lot of people wrong.”