LONDON: Britain’s Anthony Crolla will get his chance to regain the WBA lightweight title in a rematch with Venezuelan Jorge Linares in Manchester on March 25, it was announced on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Crolla lost the belt he won in November 2015 on his second defence last September on points but the 30-year-old believes he is capable of avenging that defeat.
“There had been lots of talk on the rematch since the first fight with Jorge so I’m delighted to finally get this announced,” said Crolla, whose record reads 31 wins—13 inside the distance — five losses and three draws.
“I’m working hard and making improvements, I will have to show improvements in the rematch if I am to win. I came up short on the night against the better man—with those improvements I believe I can change the result this time around.
“I see Jorge as the best lightweight in the world and I want to be the best lightweight in the world.”
Linares said he was looking forward to clashing with Crolla again.
“Crolla is a tremendous fighter with a lot of heart so I know I must train twice as hard for another tough fight,” said the 31-year-old, who has also held world titles at featherweight and super featherweight.
“I promise another great performance and assure that the belts are returning home with me,” added Linares, who boasts a record of 41 wins — 27 inside the distance — and only three defeats.
Eddie Hearn, the fight promoter, said the bout promised to be another crowd-pleaser, if the previous one was anything to go by.
“I’m delighted Anthony will get a chance to win his WBA title back along with the WBC Diamond and Ring magazine belts,” said Hearn.
“The last fight was a Fight of the Year contender and Linares boxed out of his skin, but one thing we know about Anthony is his ability to bounce back and he is so determined to win this fight.”