Boxing betting prediction: Back Anthony Crolla to secure decision win over Jorge Linares in close fought classic

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Anthony Crolla to win by Decision @ 7/4 (2.75) with Paddy Power

On his last visit to England, dangerous three-time world champion Jorge Linares stopped Kevin Mitchell with a blistering set of combinations, but Anthony Crolla is our boxing betting favourite at 4/7 to grind out another win and defend his WBA Lightweight belt, with Jorge Linares the 9/5 underdog with 888Sport.

crolla

It promises to be an absorbing technical bout, but the weight of momentum and the home advantage should ensure Crolla produces a stern defence of his title.

Crolla will make the second defence of his WBA crown in his hometown fortress of the Manchester Arena following his brilliant knockout victory over Venezuelan danger man Ismael Barroso back in May, having ripped the title from Darleys Perez with a body shot stoppage in November. However, the Manchester hero faces another tough test as he aims to unify the division.

Linares became a three-division world champion when he won the title back in December 2014 with a fourth round knockout of Javier “El Implacable” Prieto and he then came to London in his first defence against Kevin Mitchell last spring, where he stopped Mitchell in the tenth round of an epic contest that received acclaim as a 2015 Fight of the Year candidate. The 30-year-old made it three wins inside the distance in a row in October when he knocked out Ivan “Macanon” Cano in four rounds in Caracas, Venezuela.

But “Million Dollar Crolla” is a man on a mission and is producing his finest boxing at the right time. He looks terrific in the build up to this from what training footage we’ve seen and of course he is very confident of victory on home soil.

He said this week: “Jorge is a fantastic fighter and it’s another mountain to climb, but these are the tests that I thrive on and I’ve beaten two great fighters in Perez and Barroso and I’m confident that I can beat Jorge too.”

Of his 31 career wins, Crolla only has 13 stoppages to his name and is a technician rather than a killer, so considering the opponent a decision victory for the home fighter looks a sensible bet.

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Crolla 7/4 @ Paddy Power