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Jorge Linares outpoints game Anthony Crolla again

25
Mar

Jorge Linares dominated Anthony Crolla over the first half of their rematch on Saturday in Manchester, England, and then gave as good as he got down the stretch after dropping the courageous hometown hero in Round 7, going on win to another unanimous decision.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan retained THE RING and WBA lightweight titles with the victory.

Linares (42-3, 27 knockouts), who won by unanimous scores of 118-109, was at his flashy, stick-and-moving combination-punching best for most of the fight. He controlled the distance with smart lateral movement and an educated jab, which set up body shots and power punches.

The best punch landed during the fight, which was televised on Showtime in the U.S. and on Sky Sports in the U.K., was a left uppercut that Linares literally fired from hip in round 7. The beautiful shot wobbled and dropped Crolla (31-6-3, 13 KOs), who once again proved his warrior mettle by getting up, surviving the round  and then pressuring Linares hard enough in Round 8 to win it in the minds of most observers.

Crolla had a strong Round 9, but continued to absorb stiff jabs and flush uppercuts from Linares in the championship rounds, which almost promoted Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher to keep his fighter in their corner prior to the final round. Crolla, the former WBA titleholder who lost his belt to Linares last September, convinced his trainer to allow him to finish the fight and he did so in respectable fashion.

A full ringside report by U.K. editor Tom Gray will be posted shortly.