Before WBA Lightweight World Champion, Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs) steps into the ring against WBC Lightweight World Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs) tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, we take a look at how the two fighters measure up with the ‘Tale of the Tape’.
The 12-round fight for the WBA, WBC Diamond, the vacant Ring Magazine and Lineal Lightweight World Championship will have both fighters bidding for the honor to be crowed as the best lightweight fighter in the world; as their epic battle is sure to feature non-stop action.
Fans in the UK will get to witness the mega-unification event by tuning into Sky Sports 2 starting at 7:30 p.m. GMT. Fans in the U.S. can tune-in statring at 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT on AWE Network and live streamed on Klowdtv.com. AWE Network is featured on over a hundred cable providers, including AT&T U-Verse, ch 147 and 1147 in HD and Verizon FiOS TV, ch 169 and 669 in HD. For more information, please visit www.awetv.com.
Tickets are on sale now priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 and available from the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIPs tickets are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com, priced at £250.
Face value tickets for September 24 will also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/.
Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares is a 12-round fight for the WBA, WBC Diamond, the vacant Ring Magazine and Lineal Lightweight World Championships presented by Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Akihiko Honda’s Teiken Boxing Gym.
Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs) and Jorge “El Nino de Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs) hosted a public media workout today at the National Football Museum, in Manchester ahead of their unification blockbuster for the WBA, WBC Diamond and vacant Ring Magazine Lightweight Championships at the Manchester Arena on Saturday September 24, live on Sky Sports.
Crolla welcomes Linares into his hometown fortress where he’s been so impressive in his last two outings – unleashing a pair of fiendish bodyshots to KO Darleys Perez to win the WBA crown in November and then destroyed the dangerous Ismael Barroso in May.
Linares wowed UK fight fans with his epic rollercoaster battle with Kevin “Mitghy” Mitchell at The O2 last May, climbing off the canvas in the fifth round before stopping the Londoner in the tenth.
Linares’ clash with Crolla is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as John Ryder defends his WBA International Middleweight title against Jack Arnfield. Callum Johnson lands his first title action against Willbeforce Shihepo for the Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight title, unbeaten Light-Heavyweight Hosea Burton will be in title action Conor Benn tastes his fifth night of action in the paid ranks.
Below is what the fighters had to say about their upcoming mega-fight:
JORGE “EL NINO DE ORO” LINARES, WBC Lightweight World Champion:
“I’m excited to be here. Believe it or not, I feel like I’m at home because the fans received me well.
“We’ve been here before, on a similar stage, when we fought Kevin Mitchell. Manchester is different, but the love and respect I’m getting is admirable.
“It’s a special night. It’ll be a war, and that’s what we’re prepared for. It’s something very special what Crolla and I are doing, it’s something we love to do, and we’re proud representing. That’s what’s going to steal the show and give the fans a beautiful fight.
“Every fight you learn more and gain experience. I feel much better than I did with Mitchell – I’ve had a better camp with more sparring, more conditioning.”
ANTHONY “MILLION DOLLAR” CROLLA, WBA Lightweight World Champion:
“I rate Linares very highly, he’s technically brilliant. Everyone in the gym loves to watch him fight, and he’s the kind of fighter young kids should watch.
“He likes to fight at his pace and I can’t allow that. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ve got to take advantage of some weaknesses that I think I’ve seen there. I’m confident I can do that.
“I’ve got to be switched on from the opening bell. He’s a very good counter-puncher, so I know I can’t be lazy at any stage. But I genuinely believe I’ll have an answer for whatever he shows me.
“I thought a lot of his win over Kevin was down more to Kevin’s eye getting so bad really. Jorge has had better performances than that, he looked good last time out again Ivan Cano, but I can take a lot from Kevin’s fight. Kevin and I are different fighters but he put on a great performance and was seconds away from winning really, but Jorge dragged himself off the floor and came from behind to get the stoppage and that’s what true champions do. It was a great fight.”
Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares is a 12-round fight for the WBA, WBC Diamond and the Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championships presented by Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Akihiko Honda’s Teiken Boxing Gym.
HATTON BACKS CROLLA TO MAKE HISTORY IN MANCHESTER
Ricky Hatton has backed Anthony Crolla to become the first Englishman to win the Ring Magazine Lightweight title in his unification blockbuster with Jorge Linares at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
Hatton landed the Junior-Welterweight strap in the same arena in June 2005 when he forced Kostya Tszyu to quit after 11 thrilling rounds.
The ‘Hitman’ will be ringside on Saturday night where Crolla aims to become Britain’s 18th Ring magazine king and join Scottish legends Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt as winners of the prestigious strap in the 135lbs division.
Hatton’s fighting days are as memorable for his fanatical supports as his achievements in the ring, and the Manchester legend is delighted to see Crolla’s support growing as his remarkable story continues.
“Where Anthony has come from is a great example,” said Hatton. “It’s not where you start in boxing, it’s where you finish. He lost a six rounder early in his career and to Derry Mathews later on, everyone wrote him off and to achieve what he has is test of his character. I’m very proud of him.
“Anthony is lovely kid, some say he is too nice to be a boxer but there is a mean streak there. He has developed in to a good all round fighter, he has a very exciting style and is brutal body puncher.
“I know he can do the business against Jorge Linares and I’ll be beaming with pride to see him lift that Ring Magazine belt.
“My proudest achievement was my fan base in my career above everything. Anthony has an amazing following now and it’s great to see a fellow Mancunian being such a big draw in our city
“I became the first Brit to win the Ring Magazine fighter of the year award. Which was a huge honour. I won the Ring Magazine belt 10 years ago and it is the accolade that proves you are the best in your weight division, it is the ultimate achievement. It looks like the belt from the Rocky movies and its very old school which adds to the glamour of it.”
“There’s only one Ricky Hatton and there will only ever be one,” said Crolla. “If I can get a bit of the support and success that Ricky had I’ll be over the moon. The crowds at the Perez and Barroso fights were unbelievable and I am sure it’s going to be rocking on Saturday too.
“I’m just so proud that I’ve been able to pay the fans back for their incredible support I’ve received. I’m not the kind of fighter that will run his mouth at press conferences or call people out, but I will happily fight anyone. You can’t want it more than me, no-one does. I’m still taken aback by it all really, I’m just a normal lad that trains hard, but things are going well and the harder you train, the luckier you get.”
Crolla’s clash Linares with is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as John Ryder defends his WBA International Middleweight title against Jack Arnfield.