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Showtime to air Linares-Crolla rematch March 25

Crolla (left) with Jorge Linares/ Photo: Lawrence Lustig
24
Jan

Showtime will air the lightweight title rematch between RING/WBA champion Jorge Linares and former titleholder Anthony Crolla on March 25 from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, the network announced on Tuesday.

Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza has expressed interest in unifying the lightweight division; on Saturday, Dejan Zlaticanin will defend his WBC lightweight strap against former two-division champion Mikey Garcia as the co-feature to Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The move to air Linares-Crolla is another step toward to one day possibly matching the winners against each other on the network.

Linares (41-3, 27 knockouts) dethroned Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) in a fast-paced unanimous decision win on Sept. 24 from Manchester Arena. Linares is a three-division champion and has won 10 straight since he was shockingly knocked out in the second round in 2012 by Sergio Thompson. Manchester’s Crolla captured the WBC lightweight belt with a fifth-round knockout of Darleys perez in November of 2015 and defended it once before losing to Linares.