Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) skillfully defeated former champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (31-6, 15 KOs) to retain his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine World Lightweight Championship titles in a 12-round rematch battle that went the distance live from Manchester Arena. Showtime International Boxing will replay Linares vs. Crolla II tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO Extreme.
Crolla showed great heart throughout the 12-round fight; Linares, however, showed even greater skill, swift footwork, speed and control to win the fight by unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring it 118-109.
In the beginning, Linares controlled rounds one and two with his jab and out-punched Crolla. Linares continued the trend through round four, controlling with his jab and using his footwork to keep Crolla at a comfortable distance. Round five intensified with both fighters throwing more punches, but it was in round seven when Linares dropped Crolla with a swift, left uppercut that it became evident he was poised to win the fight.
By round eight, both fighters worked the body with Crolla fighting back harder than previous rounds, cheered on heavily by the pro-Crolla crowd. In the final rounds, Crolla countered back throwing more punches but ultimately could not overcome Linares.
Linares vs. Crolla II was a 12-round lightweight bout for the WBC Diamond, WBA and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championship on March 25 at the Manchester Arena presented by Matchroom Boxing in association with Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Betfred.