Repeat or Revenge.

Those are the two possible outcomes for this lightweight title rematch scheduled on March 25th at Manchester Arena.

Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla fought to a twelve round decision when they first met in the same venue. Back then, it was Linares’ first bout in a year. He hurt his hand in the 6th round but managed to finish the fight strong and take the decision. After a bloody bout, he is giving Crolla the opportunity to get that fight back.

Top Lightweight

Jorge Linares has established himself as  one of the best lightweights in the planet. He’s won 10 fights in a row and has not lost since back to back knockout defeats to Antonio De Marco and Sergio Thompson in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Overall, the Venezuelan Golden Boy has a record of 41-3 with 27 knockouts. He won the WBA Lightweight title and the vacant Ring Lightweight title last September with a unanimous decision win over Britain’s Million Dolla Anthony Crolla.

Million Dolla

Crolla is one of Britain’s fast rising stars. After his first title challenge against Darleys Perez ended in a draw in 2015, he captured the WBA title by knocking out Perez in the 5th round of their November 2015 rematch. Crolla bested Linares’ fellow Venezuelan Ismael Barroso in his first title defense. Crolla lost to Linares in his next world title fight. Crolla has never lost back to back fights in his career. He’s hoping it stays that way when he fights Linares again on March 25th.

Odds and Pick

Linares is currently at -245 while the underdog Crolla is at +205. The lines aren’t that wide but personally, I don’t think this fight is ending differently as the first one.

Linares won 117-111, 115-113 and 115-114 but if you watch the fight again, it was clearly a no-contest. Linares outboxed Crolla for 12 rounds and the judges’ scores didn’t reflect that. Linares clearly had more power in his punches, more hand speed and was the better boxer. He also displayed a more varied attack than Crolla. Skillwise, we’re giving it to Linares. Crolla does have the home crowd behind him, but even then, it didn’t help him much in the first bout. I’m not saying Crolla doesn’t have a shot at beating Linares. There was a rematch clause and that is why we’re having this fight. But it’s hard to imagine how Crolla can change the outcome in six months time. We’re picking Linares to win on points, this time by a wider points margin.

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