ANTHONY CROLLA says he is flying in his camp for his world lightweight title unification rematch with Jorge Linares at the Manchester Arena on March 25, live on Sky Sports.
Crolla was told in no uncertain terms by trainer Joe Gallagher that he had to lock himself away as he prepared to meet the Venezuelan for the second time following their tight first encounter in September, where Linares added Crolla’s WBA strap to his WBC Diamond belt.
‘Million Dollar’ is looking to reclaim the belt he won in stunning fashion in his Manchester fortress in a rematch with Darleys Perez before KOing Ismael Barroso, and the 30 year old believes that paying heed to Gallagher’s impassioned plea in their press conference to stay focussed on training will pay dividends in a fortnight’s time.
“I understood what Joe meant in the press conference,” said Crolla. “I think in the past I have been a bit stupid and that’s been my fault. I run around with tickets and stress over things, I’ve been told it for years but this time it’s been different and I’m flying in camp. It’s been a load off my shoulders and I am just concentrating on getting my belt back.
“We’re both bringing different game-plans to the ring and there’s no doubt that we’ll both leave it all in the ring again, like we did last time. I did everything I could to win last time but I came up short, the right man won but there wasn’t a lot in it. This time I am going to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s a second chance to win those belts and a second chance to beat a great fighter like Jorge, and I’ve prepared myself physically and mentally to be better than him this time.
“I was disappointed that I lost, and you should never be satisfied with losing, I was happy that I gave everything on the night but there was things that I did that I was annoyed about and I won’t be making them this time.
“He didn’t outclass me because two of the judges only had one point in it, so we’ve made the adjustments that I need to do to make sure the result is different.”
Crolla’s clash with Linares is part of a huge night of action in Manchester where there’s a crossroads battle of Blackpool as Middleweights Brian Rose and Jack Arnfield lock horns.
Martin J. Ward defends his British Super-Featherweight title against Maxi Hughes in their third clash in the paid ranks, Marcus Morrison defends his WBC International Middleweight strap against Jason Welborn, while his Joe Gallagher gym-mate Hosea Burton looks to bounce back into title contention from his epic battle with Frank Buglioni, Irish sensation Katie Taylor fights for the fourth time as a pro, while there’s also action for Tomi Tatham, Ben Sheedy, Nathan Wheatley and Sean McGoldrick