The Mail Pouch: McGarry’s Manchester Minute

By William Trillo

You must hand it to McGarry. His continued support and thoughts on upcoming fights are appreciated and welcome. Check out what he has to say about Linares vs. Crolla.

Dear Mr. Trillo,

Today, the biggest fight is in Manchester – WBA Lightweight champion puts his belt on the line against Anthony Crolla. This is a rematch of their fight in the same arena last September. In that fight, Linares won a close decision and went 12 rounds for the first time. The fact that the defending champion has agreed to go back to the same arena in Crolla’s home town for the rematch says a lot about the Venezuelan’s self-confidence. His Mancunian opponent has also made it clear he believes he can do better than in their first fight. His record in rematches suggests Crolla does improve the second time around. Crolla’s first world title shot Darly Perez – another Venezuelan – ended in a draw, and Perez was knocked out by vicious body shot in the rematch four months later.

The weigh in yesterday was like a reunion between two old friends. Both looked in peak condition, and there was genuine respect between the two fighters.

This time around, Linares goes into the fight knowing he can beat Crolla and can go the full 12 rounds if needed. Crolla knows he has to avoid big punches from this opponent, like the huge right hand he took in the sixth round of their first meeting that left him feeling dazed for several rounds, and he knows he has to start quickly and maintain the pressure for as long as the fight lasts.

My prediction: this will be a very entertaining fight and it will go the distance. While Linares deserves to be the slight favorite, I believe the sheer intensity of Crolla’s attack will just about edge a war of attrition. This could well be a fight of the year candidate, and the advantage could switch more than once before the final bell. Will this set up a trilogy between these two exciting lightweights?

I too look forward to this fight coming from across the pond. It’s going to be a nip & tuck battle worthy of watching.

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