Venezuelan star, Jorge Linares retained his WBA, WBC and Lineal Lightweight titles, claiming an emphatic points victory over Manchester’s Anthony Crolla at the Manchester Arena.
At the end of the contest, all three judges at ringside scored the contest 118-109 in favour of Linares.
Linares’ slick style shone from the opening bell and was a noticeable improvement on his fantastic performance in his first encounter with Crolla, which took place last September.
Crolla, while doing nothing wrong, per say, was simply unable to find Linares and therefore unable to execute his gameplan.
In the opening round, Linares found himself on the back foot, utilising his jab. Crolla, on the other hand, came forward looking to work the body and prevent Linares establishing a rhythm.
As the fight progressed, Crolla continued to look for ways to get inside via the body. However, the hometown favourite was repelled not only by the jab of Linares but also by his uppercut.
In the sixth Crolla found himself with a cut on his left eye.
Things got worse for Crolla in the seventh when he saw the canvas after being caught with a powerful uppercut. However, he was able to recover from the knockdown and see out the round.
Surprisingly, in the eighth, Crolla found some success with his combinations. Unfortunately for Crolla, this success would be short lived.
In the ninth Linares returned fire through lethal right hands that landed with pinpoint accuracy.
Linares continued to launch salvos of slick right hands in the tenth with very little response from Crolla.
In the eleventh, Crolla was troubled by Linares again and looked shaky. Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher seemed keen to pull him from the fight before he went out for the final round. However, Crolla refused to quit on his stool.
Knowing he needed a knockout, Crolla mustered up what he had left and went out for the final three minutes.
However, once again, Linares was simply too much, his slick movement and superior skillset preventing Crolla from finding any real success.