Jorge Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) made the trip to Manchester, England and dethroned former WBA lightweight titlist Anthony Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena.
Though Linares looked good in the early going by landing clean and accurate combinations, Crolla’s pressure began to take over the fight during the mid-rounds. While Linares focused on going to the body, he was warned on several occasions for low blows, despite many of those punches being on the belt line.
In the fifth round, Crolla connected with a sharp right hand that cut Linares, but in the sixth, it was Linares who stunned Crolla. Round by round, the two traded control of the momentum though it appeared Crolla was taking the close rounds late in the fight. Linares however, picked up the pace in the 10th round with a newfound burst of energy and landed clean, effective punches over the last couple of rounds to seal the win. Scores were 115-114, 117-111 and 115-113 for Linares.
After the fight, Linares said he was willing to give Crolla a rematch in England, and noted that he injured his right hand during the sixth round.