September last year saw Mancunian fan favourite and fairy tale career of Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla continue as he made his second defence of his WBA Lightweight belt against Venezuelan technician Jorge Linares.
Crolla lost the bout by a clear unanimous decision against a fighter that was once in most people’s top handful of fighters and who seemed to be a favourite in the eyes of true boxing fans. But despite the bookmakers making him the outsider, Linares managed to upset the apple cart and the dream was over for Million Dolla Crolla.
The winner of the previous fight was supposed to be penciled in for a fight against WBC champion Dejan Zlaticanin, putting both their belts on the line for a unification clash. I won’t mention the fiasco with the WBC diamond belt as it’s not a belt of much relevance, your either the champion, or you’re not.
In the post fight interview they had, however, announced there had been a rematch clause put in place for the fight and that they would exercise it with immediate effect, enabling Crolla the shot to win back what he had previously lost.
The rematch will be at the same venue, The Manchester Arena and it will certainly be rocking as Crolla always brings a great crowd. You can expect to see the bill filled with other fighters from Joe Gallagher’s stable and a handful of Mancunian fighters desperate to get on the big stage.
Despite the victory Linares pulled off last time they faced each other, the bookmakers are only making him a 4/6 favourite, which to me is a massive price. The typical game plan that Gallagher possesses is soak up the damage, wait for the gas to run out and then pounce on him.
But this was never anything they could pull off against a skillful fighter like Linares who could fight you at distance and enforce his jab all night long. I can’t see the fight going any other way, unless Crolla goes all guns blazing and tries to force the knockout, It’s exactly the same result. 4/6 Linares for me is a large price, and I would expect you to be quids in if your money is on the Venezuelan.