The Big Question: Linares vs Crolla 2 - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
24/03/2017 2:45pm

Click here for our Linares vs Crolla 2 preview

Manchester favourite Anthony Crolla faces Venezuelan Jorge Linares on Saturday night in an eagerly awaited lightweight championship rematch. We canvassed opinion among our online team about which man will prevail ...

I think Crolla peaked with his first title run and that Linares will still have a little 'too much' of everything when they meet again, winning a tight decision in a carbon-copy of the first fight. - Colin Harris

My prediction for the rematch is a replay of the original, Linares defeats Crolla by unanimous decision. Simply put, the Tokyo-based Venezuelan has more levels. - Michael Montero

I appreciate why Crolla wanted the rematch but I can't see it going any other way than another Linares win. Linares is a sublime boxer and some of the first fight's scorecards were very flattering to Crolla, and I say that as a huge fan of his. Linares can be got at, but the danger for Crolla when he brings that pressure is how badly he gets tagged in return. I think a points win is on the cards again for Linares, although Crolla will push hard. - James Oddy

Having seen two rematches this year end up with outcomes I really didn't expect I'm slightly nervous about this pick and the judging also concerns me. Whilst some rounds were competitive in the first fight I thought Linares was thoroughly dominant, winning at least nine rounds. The biggest minus for Crolla was that at no point did he hurt, wobble or even dent Linares in their first encounter and the Venezuelan is without doubt the superior boxer. I imagine Crolla will aim to make a faster start and try and pressure Linares, especially to the body but I predict that the champion will weather the early storm and begin to take Crolla apart, eventually stopping him in round eight or nine. - Marcus Bellinger

Damn the consensus, as I explain in my preview I'm going to plump for Crolla to snatch a points victory and write another successful chapter in his fairy-tale career. - Luke G. Williams

This fight seems to have approached us quickly and without a great deal of fanfare. I think the reason for that is the last fight, while competitive, was a clear win for Linares. Crolla has said this time around he has rid himself of unnecessary distractions and focused 100 per cent on this contest and it should be an interesting bout again but unless Linares gets a cut, which he's susceptible to, then I think the Venezuelan will once again be too slick, too refined for Crolla and will stop him late. I'm going TKO 11 for Linares. -Callum Rudge

I was lucky enough to be present at the Manchester Arena for the first fight, a belter which Linares won by a few rounds on my card. To their credit, Team Crolla only ever chased a rematch, depsite their being other lucrative and probably less dangerous options available, suggesting we shouldn't write the ex-champ off just yet. However, despite showing vulnerabilities earlier in his career, Linares appears to have settled into the best form of his career and I expect him to produce an even better performance on Saturday to stop Crolla in the late rounds. - Chris Williamson

Final count: Linares 6 Crolla 1