WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia will join the SHOWTIME announce team as a guest analyst for the rematch between WBA Lightweight World Champion Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla on Saturday, March 25 live on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Three-division world champion Garcia, (36-0, 30 KOs), will join host Brian Custer and analysts Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi in New York for the SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® presentation of Crolla vs. Linares II, which will air live from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
“I’m excited to participate as guest analyst for this rematch,” said Garcia. “These are two of the most competitive boxers in my division. Jorge Linares won the first fight, but Crolla can create a different outcome.
“Linares has good hand speed, timing, reflexes and has power in both hands. Crolla has a good right hand and has shown some solid body work in his recent fights. While Crolla is getting better with each fight, Linares is likely still the better boxer, and should edge him out in a close fight.”
Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) dethroned Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) in a thrilling battle last fall in Manchester to capture the WBA crown. The Sept. 24 match was the first time the three-division titlist Linares, who also holds the WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine lightweight belts, was pushed the 12-round distance in his career.
The WBC has mandated that the winner of Linares-Crolla II must face the hard-hitting Garcia, who knocked out defending champion Dejan Zlaticanin on Jan. 28 on SHOWTIME in just his second fight back following a 30-month layoff.
Linares-Crolla II is the second lightweight world title bout on SHOWTIME in 2017 and an important fight toward potentially unifying the resurgent 135-pound division.