Anthony Crolla knows first-hand what it’s like to share the ring with Venezuelan hardman Jorge Linares as the Briton prepares to lock horns with the current lightweight king in a much-anticipated rematch.
Crolla went the distance with Linares for the lineal championship in Manchester last November, losing out on points in a Fight of the Year contender. The Mancunian now gets a chance for revenge at the same venue on March 25 and will once again have the home fans on his side.
‘Million Dollar’ contests the 40th fight of a long, hard career but the talented 30 year-old didn’t want to take a backward step despite being edged out by Linares in their previous meeting.
“I see Jorge as the best Lightweight in the world and I want to be the best Lightweight in the world,” said Crolla.
“It is always up for discussion that label of course, he is seen as the man at the moment and I want to test myself against the very best, even though I have already been in with him. These are the fights that I want to be involved in.
“No excuses from me from the first fight, I had a great camp – I came up short against a great fighter. I thought the fight itself was going well, I felt like I was in control up until the sixth round, he caught me with a great shot and buzzed me. I felt that in the next round it took a bit of zap out of my punches and legs. Fair play to Linares he used his experience and won the last few rounds, which is usually what I do!
“I’ve got to be in these big fights now. The last four fights have been the biggest fights of my career, all tough opponents. I’m up for this big nights and people start expecting them.
“The motivation is always there for me, walking out at that arena with that crowd – it’s the level I feel I’m at now,” he added.