Jorge Linares defended his WBA Lightweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Crolla Saturday from Manchester, England. Linares (42-3, 27 KO’s) put on a boxing clinic for twelve rounds, consistently landing his own combinations while using his footwork to nullify Crolla's attack.
The win sets Linares up for a possible unification fight with WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia.
Linares and Crolla previously fought a fierce, closely contested battle last September, one that Linares won by just a few rounds. On Saturday, however, Linares retained the belt by a wide margin—118-109 on all three scorecards—virtually outclassing Crolla from the outset.
A precisely timed Linares uppercut floored Crolla in the seventh. Moments later, Linares nearly finished him with a flurry against the ropes. Crolla, however, would not go quietly. The Manchester native, perhaps spurned by his home crowd, bravely grew more aggressive in the second half of the fight. But Linares was simply too sharp, too fast, and too comfortable for Crolla to overcome.
Mikey Garcia, who was watching the fight broadcast from a television studio, is coming off a brilliant knockout of world champion Dejan Zlaticanin in January and is hungry for a unification bout.
“First off, I congratulate Jorge Linares for a great win,” said Garcia. “His skill, flexibility, combinations and power were definitely impressive. I hope we can make a fight as soon as possible. He didn’t look cut or hurt so maybe we can fight this summer.”
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services