Today at 3 pm ET on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, live coverage will begin for the card headlined by Jorge Linares vs Anthony Crolla, a rematch from last year and for Linares’ WBA "world" lightweight title.
BLH will pick up live coverage at 6 pm ET for the main event, which airs live on Showtime in the United States.
Linares (41-3, 27 KO) outpointed Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KO) in September, the last fight for either man, to take the title belt, and will be the favorite once again, though he’s fighting on hostile ground in Manchester once again, as well. Last time out, there was some mild criticism of the scoring, which went to the right man but it was felt by some that two of the three cards were a little closer than they should have been.
What should be expected, though, is that Crolla will give a great effort, and Linares, who has lost to fighters on this level before, cannot afford to overlook him.
Wil Esco will be on the RBR call today. Join us today!
JORGE LINARES def ANTHONY CROLLA by UD (118-109, 118-109, 118-109)
ROUND BY ROUND
JORGE LINARES vs ANTHONY CROLLA
Round 1: Linares comes out and tries a lead hook that Crolla blocks. Crolla throws a jab to the body that falls short. Linares lands a jab between Crolla's guard. Very technical opening round as both fighters warm up and feel each other out. Crolla lands a left hook to the body. Right hand to the body lands for Crolla. Linares comes back with two of his own to the body. Check hook lands for Linares. A nip and tuck round but I think Linares was controlling the action a little better. Linares 10-9.
Round 2: Linares jabs to the head and body and moves off to the side. Now Crolla comes with a jab to the body. Crolla lands a nice jab after Linares misses on a combination. Crolla lands another straight right to the body. Linares throws a three punch combination that Crolla blocks. Linares lets go another three punches with one partially landing. Crolla should probably go back to that right hand to the body that has been landing. Linares 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Crolla gets warned for a low blow. Crolla throws a soft right hand to the body that touches Linares. Now Crolla tries a right hook to the body. Linares flashes his blazing hand speed. Linares lands a clean uppercut on Crolla. Crolla is walking forward now on Linares and abandoning that in and out movement from the opening rounds - and it's giving opportunities to Linares. Oddly enough it seems that Crolla remembers the game plan and backs off slightly. Linares 10-9.
Round 4: Crolla lands a right hand over the jab. Linares jabs to the head and body. Linares throws another three-punch combination to the head and body. Hard left uppercut to the body lands for Linares, a beautiful punch with good leverage. Linares continues to slip in left uppercuts on Crolla. Crolla swings for a home run right which Linares ducks out the way of. Linares 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Crolla comes out with a straight right to the body. Linares throws about three 3-punch combinations as Crolla just tries to cover up. Now Linares throws a straight right hand to the body, then a left hook downstairs shortly after. Linares is now fully in his rhythm as Crolla watches this fight slip away. Linares did everything he wanted to in this round and is now winning each passing round more convincingly. Linares 10-9.
Round 6: Crolla throws three punches that Linares evades while pivoting back to center ring. Check hook lands for Linares as Crolla tries to go back downstairs with a right hand. Linares boxing and moving, walking Crolla into traps. Hard right hand lands to the body for Linares. Linares hits Crolla and now Crolla's bleeding over his left eye. Crolla half-heartedly throws two body punches as Linares spins off the ropes. Linares 10-9, 60-54.
Round 7: Crolla comes out with a sense of urgency, but walking into more Linares combinations might not be the best thing. Then again, he can't outbox Linares on the outside so he has little choice at this point. Linares slips in a sneaky right hand as Crolla stalks forward. LINARES HITS CROLLA WITH A SNEAKY UPPERCUT THAT MAKES CROLLA DO THE STANKY LEG BEFORE HITTING THE MAT! Crolla beats the count but he's in bad shape. Linares strafes Crolla on the ropes. Crolla somehow seems to have regained his senses and tries to come back at Linares. Linares 10-8.
Round 8: Crolla comes out in an aggressive posture but Linares meets him with two hard uppercuts. Crolla is undeterred and continues to walk forward. Linares lands a right uppercut to the body, Crolla takes a deep breath. Linares tries a wild right that sails over the head of Crolla. Linares jabs to the head and body. Linares pivots on the inside and lands another uppercut. Linares 10-9, 80-71.
Round 9: Linares picks off Crolla's forward momentum with punches. Linares is moving his feet and timing Crolla as he follows him around the ring. Crolla gets tied up with Linares and tries to let off a flurry. Crolla lands a nice right hand. Then Linares gets one back. Crolla's face is bleeding a decent amount on the left side. Hard left uppercut lands for Linares! I honestly think Linares is just winning all these rounds despite's Crolla's heart. Oscar De La Hoya just said this is a very close fight. I don't know what he's watching. Linares 10-9.
Round 10: This round is more of the same - Crolla is trying hard but he's outclassed by one of the best stylists in the sport. Linares throws a left hook the head and body. Crolla tries a left to the body. Linares throws three punches and partially catches Crolla with the left hook. Linares tries a knockout overhand right but it doesn't land clean. Crolla tries two jabs but his punches don't have a lot of snap at this point - he's still trying though. Linares 10-9, 100-89.
Round 11: Linares smiling as he circles the ring. Referee calls timeout to take a faulty decal off Crolla's glove (tisk tisk Grant). Crolla Linares comes forward with two 3-punch combinations. Linares is just getting off much more than Crolla and that's the entirety of this fight. Crolla tries a double left hook that Linares catches. Linares lands a hard jab to the body. Hard uppercut lands for Linares that snaps Crolla's head up high! Linares 10-9.
Round 12: It looked light Crolla's trainer wanted to call off the fight in between rounds but Crolla talked him out of it. Last round. Looks to me like Linares is carrying Crolla a little. Now Linares lets go a combination. Two left hooks to the body lands for Linares. Referee momentarily stops the action after he says a body punch landed low on Crolla. Crolla is giving everything he has here but he doesn't have much for Linares. Linares throws a bolo punch to Crolla's body. Folks, I've got this a clean sweep. BLH scores it 120-107 Linares.