Jorge Linares of Venezuela has already beaten Anthony Crolla once at Manchester Arena in England, taking Crolla’s lightweight title via unanimous decision this past September. Since Crolla is from Manchester, it was an impressive victory.
Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) apparently is not the type to say, “Been there, done that,” so he will happily take on Crolla again at the same venue March 25 (on Showtime).
“I wasn’t supposed to win the first fight, but I’m glad I did so I can come back and do it again,” Linares said Tuesday at a news conference in Manchester.
Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) certainly doesn’t want to lose twice in his backyard to the same opponent. Linares knows that, so he expects Crolla to come with everything he’s got.
“It’s a new year and a new day,” Linares said. “Anthony is going to be better and hungrier. And that means I will work harder, come with more skill and an even better game plan to win.”
Crolla, 30, can’t wait for the opportunity to get back the hardware he lost in September.
“I want the belt back, simple,” he said. “Fighting for these prizes in front of us is huge. It was a special night last time; great crowd and it’ll be even bigger this time. The setting was perfect, but I lost my belt.
“I lost to a great fighter, but I don’t celebrate losing. I don’t want to feel it again and I want to go down in history by beating a great fighter.”