ON Saturday night (March 25) Anthony Crolla lost his WBA lightweight fight against Jorge Linares on points for the second time.

Anthony Crolla suffered more boxing heartbreak after losing another bout against Jorge Linares in a tough showdown at the weekend.

The fight – labelled “Repeat or Revenge” after Linares’s win of their first fight in 2016 – saw the local boxer come up short in again in his bid to snatch the lightweight title from the three-weight world champion.

The undercard for the night included British Super-Featherweight Championship Martin J Ward v Maxi Hughes, Super-Featherweight contest Katie Taylor v Milena Koleva and WBA International Middleweight Championship Brian Rose v Jack Arnfield.

During the evening, there was also a standing ovation to commemorate 17-year-old amateur boxer, Ed Bilbey, who died after collapsing in the ring last Friday and for those killed in last week’s Westminster terror attacks.

At 10:30, the ring walk began for the highly anticipated ‘fight of the night’ and the crowd was undeniably ecstatic when Crolla began his entrance to the ring.

Crolla walked out to James Arthur’s cover of Adele’s ‘Hometown Glory’ as he soaked up the support from his thousands of fans in Manchester.

The first six rounds were close and Crolla started off strong throwing a vast amount of punches at his opponent.

But after Linares threw a clever uppercut in round seven, Crolla faced a knockdown and spiralled slightly downward from here.

Crolla suffers set back from Linares’ sharp uppercut.
Crolla suffers set back from Linares’ sharp uppercut.

After 12 intense rounds, Linares retained his belt by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the clash at 118-109 meaning Crolla lost by a wider margin than in his first fight against Linares.

Despite most of the 15,000 people in Manchester Arena supporting the local hero, Linares’s skilful punches and fast footwork were widely appreciated by the crowd.

It was obvious after the seventh round that Crolla’s efforts were no match for Linares but the Mancunian’s determination was inevitable throughout.

Crolla was far from bitter by his defeat and said: “Tonight I lost to the better man, no excuses whatsoever. I’m really sorry I couldn’t do it for you.”

Linares was humble in victory and said: “Let me tell the great people of Manchester that Anthony Crolla has a huge pair of balls. That is why he made it to the 12th round and the final bell.”

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