Linares Easily Cruises By Crolla
Anthony Crolla’s team debated about potentially not letting their fighter go out for the 12th and final round of his Saturday night contest. Crolla, however, showed a large amount of guts by going out one more time.
While Crolla showed admirable courage, courage was not enough. Jorge Linares easily defeated Crolla by unanimous decision to retain his WBA lightweight championship at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
After a first round that went mostly quiet, with both fighters just feeling each other out, the second round saw the beginning of Linares’ masterful performance. While Crolla got in one or two key shots, Linares moved around the ring a lot more. And each time Linares moved, it was usually followed up by a combination that landed on Crolla.
Crolla put pressure on the champion’s body in round three, landing a couple of rights hands to the body. But Linares showed off his quick punching power, and Crolla chose to aggressively continue moving forward — only for Linares to land more shots. Crolla tried to get a few more shots in during round four, but that round was just about dominated by Linares in terms of punches thrown, combinations and power shots. Linares continued to push through Crolla with more and more combinations throughout the fifth round. Linares seemed to be completely in his groove, while Crolla was still desperately looking for an answer.
Linares busted Crolla open around his left eye, as he continued to treat his challenger like a punching bag. In the seventh round, Linares sneaked an uppercut right to the chin of Crolla, causing the former lightweight champion to stumble to the ground and earn Linares a knockdown. Crolla managed to stand back up, however.
The knockdown seemed to wake Crolla up, however. While Crolla was hit several more times in the eighth round, he came out a lot more aggressively and continued to press forward. Crolla’s heart continued to show in round nine, landing a hard hand to the side of Linares’ face as the two were locked in battle. Crolla made it more look like a brawl than a boxing match.
Crolla continued trying to land something on the champion, and while he did land some shots in the 10th, it was obvious the power wasn’t there and Crolla was gassed, all thanks to Linares’ quick feet and hands. Linares beat down Crolla more in the 11th, and at that point it was more than obvious Crolla had nothing left in the tank.
Crolla’s corner wanted to stop the fight at the end of the 11th, but the hearty Crolla somehow convinced his team to let him fight the last round. It was quite the effort, and Crolla showed a ton of heart, but it could do nothing to win him the fight.
All three judges ruled the bout in Linares’ favor with scores of 118-109.