Scorecard: Linares vs Crolla 2

Luke G. Williams
25/03/2017 11:30pm

Venezuelan 'Golden Boy' Jorge Linares put on a lightweight masterclass in dismantling a gutsy but outgunned Anthony Crolla over 12 one-sided rounds in Manchester on Saturday night...

Round 1: Huge noise from the crowd as the fight gets under way. Both men with high guards, both score to the body. Crolla lands the cleanest shot of the round, but there's not much in it. 10-9 Crolla

Round 2: Linares starts to find that smooth rhythm that served him so well in the last fight. Not many clean shots landed, but the Venezuelan takes it. 10-9 Linares

Round 3: The champion secures another round, landing a solid combination, and evading Crolla's efforts to press forward and work the body. Already looking ominous for the Manchester man. 10-9 Linares

Round 4: Linares is in the groove now, with superb punch variety and hand speed making Crolla look clumsy by comparison. The 'Golden Boy' effortlessly puts another round in the bank. 10-9 Linares

Round 5: Crolla's aim is clearly to try and get inside Linares' jab and rough him up - easier said than done. Linares counters him with ease, and lands a sharp uppercut too. 10-9 Linares

Round 6: Linares is a joy to watch here tonight. His speed, movement and judgement of distance are supreme. He lands a crunching uppercut and left hook among an impressive repertoire of shots. Crolla has no answer. 10-9 Linares

Round 7: Dramatic stuff - Crolla has a little more success pressuring Linares than in previous rounds, backing him up a couple of times, only to find himself on the receiving end of a vicious left uppercut which takes his legs away from under him and deposits him on the canvas. Crolla is hurt but makes it back to his feet and survives the round, even landing a couple of punches towards the end of the stanza. 10-8 Linares

Round 8: Fabulous heart from Crolla here. He comes firing back, discomforting Linares and landing his best shots of the night. Linares brawls rather than boxes, and has lost his first round for a while. He even looks a little tired. There couldn't be a final twist in the Crolla fairy-tale here, could there? 10-9 Crolla

Round 9: Crolla continues to press forward with incredible determination, landing some decent shots, but Linares' work is sharper, including yet another stinging uppercut - that's been his signature punch tonight. 10-9 Linares

Round 10: Linares goes back to his boxing basics, jabbing, moving and outscoring the hometown favourite with ease. 10-9 Linares

Round 11: Smooth as velvet, Linares boxes beautifully, opening up with another hurtful uppercut in the final 20 seconds of the round. 10-9 Linares

Round 12: At one point it looked like Crolla's corner were going to pull him out before the final round, but the Manchester man sees it through to the final bell. Linares chalks up another round and puts the seal on a splendid performance. 10-9 Linares

Verdict: A fabulous performance from Linares (now 42-3), who looked even sharper than in the first bout between the two men. Crolla's wholehearted endeavour was no match for the Venezuelan's sharp-shooting. Here's hoping a showdown between the classy Linares and the resurgent Mikey Garcia can be brokered.

(Judges' scores 118-109, 118-109, 118-109 to Linares. BM online also had it 118-109 to Linares)