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Breakdown: Jorge Linares vs. Anthony Crolla II fight preview and prediction

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Get a preview and predictions here for the Jorge Linares vs. Anthony Crolla II rematch this Saturday on Showtime.

This Saturday, Showtime presents an international headliner when Jorge Linares (41-3; 27 KO) rematches Anthony Crolla (31-5-3; 13 KO). This 135 pound Lightweight fight is for the WBA and Ring Magazine titles held by Linares; Crolla is the #4 ranked contender by Ring. Showtime Boxing Linares vs. Crolla II airs this Saturday, March 25 on Showtime with a fight time of 6:00 p.m. ET. The Showtime broadcast will only include the main event from Manchester.

How do these two stack up?
Linares: 31 years old | 5’8” | 69″ reach | orthodox stance
Crolla: 30 years old | 5’8″ | 67″ reach | orthodox stance

What have these two done recently?
Linares: W – Anthony Crolla (UD) | W – Ivan Cano (KO) | W – Kevin Mitchell (TKO)
Crolla: L – Jorge Linares (UD) | W – Ismael Barroso (KO) | W – Darleys Perez (KO)

How did these two get here?

Jorge Linares is one of the most technically accomplished fighters in the sport today. He’s a three division champion and undefeated since 2012. But there have long been some questions about him, particularly about his chin, and his susceptibility to cuts. He comes in here off the decision win in the first Crolla fight, a fight where he dealt with the pressure from Crolla and somewhat surprisingly went to a 12 round decision win for the first time in his pro career.

Anthony Crolla is kind of what you expect from many UK fighters – a well-rounded, hard-hitting, never back down kind of athlete. He was undefeated through 2011, but has a strange record since, with three draws, three losses, and eight wins. Crolla has historically not had much luck going to the judges – only one of his losses or draws is an actual stoppage. He’s been very focused on getting his revenge in this fight.

What can fans expect?

More of the same from last fight. Crolla is a talented, effective fighter, but he’s not the kind of boxer who has a lot of different layers to his game. He is what he is, and he’s good at it. But last time out, what he did was not enough to handle the technique of Linares, and I don’t see any reason to think it will be this time. For the first fight, Crolla’s best chances were to rough Linares up and either score the KO or force a doctor stoppage off a cut. Those remain his best chances now. But Linares is a smart fighter, and I see him having a better time learning from the first fight and making minor adjustments to turn in an even stronger performance than he did last time.
Prediction: Linares, UD

Who should watch?

Fans who want to see the true champion of a division in action. Also, this is expected to set up a great fight with the winner here facing Mikey Garcia for Lightweight supremacy. Anyone interested in that fight (and you should be) should check this out as a preview.

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