Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Jorge Linares-Anthony Crolla II: Pre-Fight Report Card

by Cliff Rold

When the money is right, a sequel is sometimes the best option. This Saturday (Showtime, 6 PM EST/3 PM PST), Jorge Linares will return to the lion’s den and attempt to send Manchester’s Anthony Crolla to the showers empty handed in his hometown.

If he can, Linares may be on the verge of the most lucrative moment of a fourteen-year career. All he ahs to do is repeat his last outing. In a rousing fight, and one of the most complete performances of his career, Linares looked every bit the star he’s never quite become.

Crolla didn’t make it easy the first time and he won’t this time either. It was a good fight. Does a better one wait for us this time? Or does Linares finish this rivalry off in style? 

boxing

Let’s go the report card.

The Ledger

Jorge Linares

Age: 31

Title: Ring/WBA lightweight (2016-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)

Previous Titles: WBC featherweight (2007-08, 1 Defense); WBA super featherweight (2008-09, 1 Defense); WBC lightweight (2014-15, 2 Defenses)

Height: 5’8

Weight: 134 ¼ lbs.

Hails from: Barinas, Venezuela

Record: 41-3, 27 KO, 3 KOBY?

Record in Major Title Fights: 8-2, 7 KO, 2 KOBY

Rankings: #1 (BoxingScene, ESPN), #2 (TBRB, Boxing Monthly), #4 (BoxRec)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 5 (Oscar Larios TKO10; Juan Carlos Salgado TKO by 1; Jesus Chavez RTD4; Antonio DeMarco TKO by 11; Anthony Crolla UD12)

Vs.

Anthony Crolla

Age: 30

Title: None

Previous Titles: WBA lightweight (2015-16, 1 Defense)

Height: 5’8 ½

Weight: 134 ½ lbs.

Hails from: Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Record: 31-5-3, 13 KO, 1 KOBY?

Record in Major Title Fights: 2-1-1, 2 KO

Rankings: #4 (Ring, ESPN), #5 (Boxing Monthly), #6 (BoxingScene, TBRB), #9 (BoxRec)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 3 (Gavin Rees UD12; Darleys Perez D12, KO5; Jorge Linares L12)

Grades

Pre-Fight: Speed – Linares A-; Crolla B

Pre-Fight: Power – Linares B+; Crolla B

Pre-Fight: Defense – Linares B; Crolla B

Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Linares B+; Crolla B+

The gap in the first fight in speed, overall skill level, and execution made all the difference in the first fight. Linares was usually first and landed in superior combination. That didn’t mean Crolla didn’t have moments. The best of them were predicated in a focused body attack. It’s a place he has to go to again, even at the risk of taking more fire.

Linares, for as good as he looked, remains a question mark when it comes to durability. Crolla didn’t do enough to slow Linares down as the fight wore on. It may be that Linares has matured in such a way that his pacing has caught up to his talent. He used his feet wisely against Crolla the first time and never took the sort of punishment he did in the grueling loss to Antonio DeMarco.

Crolla doesn’t have the sort of stunning initial power that Juan Carlos Salgado and Sergio Thompson did in catching Linares early. He has to find a way to get Linares out of rhythm to have a shot to reverse this outcome. That may mean getting rougher on the inside.

Can he get there and stay there to do it? The first fight suggests that is an uphill battle. Linares, respectful but not fearful of the incoming, was as relaxed and focused as he’s ever been in their first fight. Can he repeat that level of focus?

There is a sense here that Linares is going through the sort of evolution that heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko once went through. Like Linares, Klitschko looked like the future of his field early on and then stumbled on his path. It took time for him to marry his talent to his professional development. Klitschko, like Linares, had to become both physically and mentally tougher.

So in terms of intangibles, we may just be dealing with a better Linares than we ever have. It appeared so in his last fight, and in his off the canvas stoppage of Kevin Mitchell in 2015. Crolla is a solid professional that has maximized his talent and shown his own maturing over the last few years. It wasn’t enough the first time. 

The Pick

In the end, it comes down to one guy just being better. If both guys are on, Linares is more well-rounded and is more athletic. That’s a bad recipe for Crolla. If he can get to Linares’ ribs and hurt him, he’s got a chance to win. He’s gritty enough to stay in the fight regardless. At the final bell, it will be another commendable defeat that probably gets scored closer than the reality of the ring would indicate. The pick is Linares in another decision.

Report Card and Staff Picks 2017: 5-5 

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Top Headlines Firat Arslan, Sefer Seferi Battle To a Draw: Chudinov Faces Mendy Photos: Matchroom Girls Hit The Kansas Star Arena Photos: Brandon Rios Batters and Stops Ramon Alvarez Hearn: Wilder-Fury Will Be Terrible; Fury Will Get Knocked Out Photos: Jarrell Miller Crushes Bogdan Dinu in The Fourth Spence: Jermell Charlo Beats Hurd, Enters Pound-For-Pound Photos: Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias Battle To a Split Draw Photos: Claressa Shields Earns More Gold, Easily Beats Rankin Archie Sharp Aims To Land Ryan Garcia, His Female Fans Too Buboy Studying Broner, Getting Pacquiao's Camp Ready Rizin CEO Warns: Nasukawa Will Aim To Knock Mayweather Out! Josh Kelly: Usyk Not Ready For Joshua, Can He Take The Power? Seniesa Estrada Wins Big; Tom Schwarz and Krasniqi Win Too Jarrell Miller Blasts Out Bogdan Dinu in Four Rounds Jarrell Miller vs. Bogdan Dinu - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Claressa Shields Dominates Hannah Rankin, Wins Decision Claressa Shields vs. Hannah Rankin - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Brandon Rios Breaks Down, Stops Ramon Alvarez in Ninth Brandon Rios vs. Ramon Alvarez - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias Fight To a Twelve Round Split Draw Gabe Rosado vs. Luis Arias - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Miller-Dinu Undercard Results From Mulvane, Kansas Kerman Lejarraga Knocks Frankie Gavin Out in Fourth Round Harley Benn Gets Win, Moves To 5-0 In Brentwood Michael Dutchover Takes Out Ruben Tamayo in Three Rounds Liam Taylor Beats Tyrone Nurse, Moves Closer To British Title Cornflake Beats Arnaoutis, Driven To Be 'World-Class-Level Fighter' Luis Coria Faces Stiff Test in Thomas Valdez in Arizona Jarrell Miller: Deontay Wilder Might Knock Tyson Fury's Head Off! Spence, Crawford Trade Heated Words - Agree on $1 Million Bet Chordale Booker Ready To Show He's 'The Gift' in North Carolina Kerman Lejarraga Will Become a Huge Attraction, Says DiBella Promoter: Dinu's A Top-10 Heavyweight; Toughest Fight For Miller Omar Figueroa Craves Errol Spence Rematch in The Future Jarrell Miller: I'll Impose Will On Dinu & Get Him Out Of There Photos: Maurice Hooker Breaks Down, Stops Alex Saucedo Lennox Lewis: Wilder-Fury Will NOT Look Like Klitschko-Fury Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence-Garcia, Mayweather, Usyk, More Photos: Kavaliauskas in Line For Crawford After Arriaza KO Win Frank Warren Discusses a Big December For British Boxing
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement