By Frank Warren, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY CROLLA is one of the nice guys of boxing and he has to hope that nice guys don’t come second tonight.
But I just don’t know what he can do differently from the first Jorge Linares fight to change the result.
Crolla did everything he could when the pair met at Manchester Arena last September, and I felt Venezuelan star Linares had another gear or two to go up despite claiming the WBA lightweight title.
However, I would like to see the Manchester man upset the odds so that we can finally get a fight on between him and his old school pal Terry Flanagan.
It would be a cracking unification clash between two of the city’s finest fighters but Crolla’s team don’t seem too receptive to the idea.
Flanagan has to come through a tough test in his WBO title defence against Petr Petrov on April 8 first though.
We would take the Crolla fight whether he wins or loses tonight, but we would also go for Linares if he comes out on top.
It would be great for British boxing if he can win so hopefully he can shock a few people – including me.
I heard Eddie Hearn this week was talking about Katie Taylor and said “beware of cheap imitations” of the Irish fighter.
Well if he was talking about Nicola Adams then how pathetic is it to call a double Olympic gold medallist, world, European and Commonwealth champion in her weight an imitation?
Maybe the green-eyed monster got the better of him because Adams is going to be a star in the professional ranks for British boxing, or hopefully he was talking about someone else because the Leeds lady is a class act.
She already changed my mind on women’s boxing and I can’t wait for her debut at Manchester Arena on the undercard of Flanagan’s world title defence.
Also on that card, the cracking domestic dust-up between Liam Smith and Liam Williams will now be for the WBO interim light-middleweight title and the winner should become world champion if Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vacates as expected.
Hopefully we will have news on WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders’ possible clash with Gennady Golovkin early next week.
Saunders is ready to travel to Kazakhstan to face Golovkin, but we are just waiting on their team to decide if the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBC champion will be ready to fight in June.