As Anthony Crolla prepares for a second bite at the apple against Jorge Linares this weekend in Manchester, the 30-year-old fighter tells ESPN that he’s been much more reclusive this go ‘round.
Crolla mentions stories about how he spent a lot of time appeasing local friends fans in the lead-up to his first fight with Linares, and how he’s now managing his time and energy much more effectively for this fight.
"I was driving around Manchester dropping off tickets to people like I've always done and it took up a lot of time, which is stupid really. This time I've got a few mates who help me out with that.
"That's a big thing. It's been a load off my shoulders and I am just concentrating on getting my belt back."
Crolla has also backed away from the work he usually does with local amateur fighters — even staying away from local fight shows to ensure that his focus is completely on defeating Linares this Saturday.
But one thing Crolla has notably cut out of his preparation is the tedious roadwork. Crolla hasn’t been hitting the pavement ever since his 2014 run-in with burglars which left him with a fractured skull and broken ankle. Instead Crolla utilizes swimming and yoga as a substitute.
"I still do yoga and swimming -- I've not run since the Perez fight two years ago," he added. "I'm lifting heavier weights in the gym and I'm more flexible than I've ever been. I'm trying to improve all round.”
Will this preparation be sufficient to upend Linares, who is basically regarded as just the better fighter? We’ll find out this weekend when the pair square off for the WBA title.