Anthony Crolla vs Jorge Linares: When is the fight, how can I watch it and what are the odds?

Ben Bloom
The Telegraph
Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla are fighting for the WBA world lightweight title - PA
Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla are fighting for the WBA world lightweight title - PA

What is it?

This the rematch between Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares, with the British fighter looking to reclaim the WBA world lightweight title after losing it to his Venezuelan opponent back in September. Linares's WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine titles are also on the line.

When and where is it?

The fight will take place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday March 25.

What time is it?

The bout should take place at approximately 10pm GMT, with the undercard fights starting a few hours beforehand.

<span>Crolla is looking to avenge his defeat in September</span> <span>Credit: getty images </span>
Crolla is looking to avenge his defeat in September Credit: getty images

What TV channel is it on? 

The fight will be shown on Sky Sports HD1 with the programme beginning at 7pm to take in much of the build-up and undercard. Your other option is to stay right here where this page will turn into our live blog from around 8pm.

What is the story behind both fighters?

2015 was an extraordinary year for Anthony Crolla, who became WBA lightweight world champion just 11 months after suffering a fractured skull and ankle when tackling burglars at a neighbour's home in Manchester. He was hit over the head with a concrete slab, but made a full recovery and completed his recovery with victory over Darleys Perez.

The first defence of his WBA title saw a knockout win over Ismael Barroso, before losing on points to Linares at the Manchester Arena last September, with the three judges scoring the fight 115-114, 117-111 and 115-113 in favour of the Venezuelan.

<span>Crolla beat Ismael Barroso at the first defence of his title</span> <span>Credit: rex </span>
Crolla beat Ismael Barroso at the first defence of his title Credit: rex

Linares had previously beaten Britain's Kevin Mitchell at the O2 Arena, London and goes into this rematch unbeaten since March 2012. He has held world titles at three weights.

What have they been saying?

Crolla insists he has made crucial adjustments after defeat when the two fighters met last year: "Obviously, I'm not going to give too much away, but we have to be smarter in the ring.

"We have quickened things up a little bit, and there are certain shots there that we feel we didn't capitalise on last time and plan on doing it this time.

"I'm very much more business-minded. My head is just totally on the job.

"I am always confident and believe in myself, and the harder and smarter you train, the more confident you get.

"It could be another long fight - I've prepared for 12 hard rounds as always. But whether it is a points decision or not, I believe it is a different result this time."

<span>Linares won the pair's last fight on points</span> <span>Credit: reuters </span>
Linares won the pair's last fight on points Credit: reuters

He added: "I don't mind people saying I've overachieved. I get the best out of what I've got.

"There has always been a lot of money won on me when I've been underdog and I look forward to that again on Saturday."

Linares has warned Crolla that he is targeting a more convincing win this time.

"He knows he has had to work harder in order to get back what he feels is his," he said. "But the only problem is I have come even better prepared as well.

<span>Linares says he is better prepared for this fight</span> <span>Credit: reuters </span>
Linares says he is better prepared for this fight Credit: reuters

"I'm coming in and doing whatever is necessary to win more convincingly than I did in September. I think this will be a faster-paced fight, and I'm ready for whatever comes.

"A fighter has to prepare themselves for the long run, and if the knockout (opportunity) comes, I'm ready for that too. I will go for it, but the most important thing is that after the fight, my hand is raised as the victor."

What are the betting odds?

Anthony Crolla win - 7/4
Jorge Linares win - 1/2
Draw - 20/1


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