Crolla-Linares Rematch Eyed For Early 2017

By Elliot Foster

Anthony Crolla will rematch Jorge Linares in his next fight as he looks to get back his world title.

The Manchester man lost to Linares by unanimous points decision and the Venezuelan, who is now the world’s number one lightweight, claims he will give him another crack.

“Anthony Crolla said before this fight that he was a fan of mine,” Linares told Sky Sports after he was announced as the winner of the thrilling 12-round showdown at Manchester Arena on September 24. “Well after this fight, I’m a fan of his.

“Anthony Crolla deserves a rematch so why not do it again?”

Eddie Hearn, the promoter of ex-WBA king Crolla, confirmed after the fight that the rematch clause, which was included in the original bout contract, was executed and that the pair will meet back in Manchester next year.

“Manchester should be so proud of this man,” said Hearn. “There will be a rematch. There’s already an agreement for a rematch in Manchester. We will make it happen again.

“This young man is a credit to Manchester and Great Britain. We will fight Jorge Linares again and I believe he will beat him. The Anthony Crolla story is not over.”

However, despite Hearn and Golden Boy confirming the rematch clause and WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. saying in the aftermath that he would order the return, there is a possibility that a spanner could be thrown into the works.

The WBC sanctioned the first fight between 31-year-old Linares, who is now the WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine lightweight ruler, on the understanding that the winner would face Dejan Zlaticanin, the WBC champion, in their next fight.

But that may not happen, meaning that the Diamond crown may not be on the line.

Hearn revealed that Zlaticanin, of Montenegro, will face Mikey Garcia, the former world champion south of 135lb at super-featherweight, but that is yet to be confirmed.

Dates in February and March, 2017, are being looked at for the rematch, but nothing will be made concrete until Linares has made a full recovery from the injury to his right hand which was suffered during his defeat of ‘Million Dollar’.

Linares, with the win, advances to 41-3 with 27 early endings, while Crolla now has five pro losses on his ledger along with 31 wins, three draws and 13 stoppages.

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