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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Linares vs Crolla rematch preview and prediction

Is it revenge or repeat? Can Crolla get the win this time to even the score? Or can Linares prove again supremacy at the lightweight division?

Jorge Linares (41-3-0, 27KOs) will hit the road again to defend his lightweight title against Anthony Crolla (31-5-3, 13KOs) in a rematch on Saturday night at the challenger's home turf at the Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), in Manchester, UK.

Well, it's somehow easy to write a preview about this fight because we do have a reference point. Re-watching the first fight that happened on 24th September last year is the best, to begin with. So I re-watch the first match on Youtube.

Linares vs Crolla I

Based on the previous outing it is safe to say that Linares has the edge over Crolla with regards to overall boxing skills and techniques. But of course, boxing can not be won in the ring over those advantages alone. A lot of things are there to consider. In the first bout, Linares was the one who makes use of the entire ring with his footwork.

In the first bout, Linares was the one who made use of the entire ring with his footwork. He was able to maintain the necessary distance he needed to threw in combinations making it difficult for Crolla to mount counters.

In the first six rounds, Linares was able to rack up points and even hurt Crolla at the end of Round 6. But Crolla, as the fight went on to the second half was able to make every round closer, landing significant punches that take a toll on Linares. Crolla's body works made a telling effect as Linares started to show fatigue. It was Linares' first time to go full 12 rounds. Well, Linares was able to pass the test and went home with a unanimous decision victory.

Power, Stamina, and Durability

Although it is obvious that Linares has the edge with regards to overall boxing skills, let us see other factors to consider. If we look at the ledger of each fighter, it looks like Linares has the upper hand with regard to power. He had 27 KO's in 41 fights, whereas Crolla had only 13 in 31 fights. That's a 66% KO rate for Linares to only 33% on Crolla per Boxrec. But it is exciting to see because, although Linares had more power on his hands, he tends to lose steam in the later rounds.

Crolla, on the other end, seemed to be more durable and has more gas in the tank. He took Linares' best shots. Well, except in Round 6 where he wobbled.

Adjustments and keys to victory

Since this is a rematch, It boils down to adjustments to make the difference in the second fight. It will depend on how each fighter learned the first bout and make the necessary adjustment tonight. If I will see Round 13 instead of Round 1 in the rematch, I think, we will see the same ending. But if we see a different fight tonight due to drastic adjustment on both fighters, well that remains to be seen.

In my opinion, if Linares will show up with the same movement and improved on his stamina he'll get the repeat of what happened in November. But without that extra mileage put on Linares' gas tank, a more aggressive Corolla (with more jab and head movement moving forward) might even the score and see you again in the ring for the third time.
Well, my prediction is that I saw Linares this time being prepared to go full 12 rounds, so he has more oxygen in the tank and will execute the same game plan -- Linares UD 12.

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