Crolla: Beating Linares will turn me into a superstar


By Scott Gilfoid: WBA World lightweight champion Anthon Crolla seems to be under the illusion that he’ll be transformed into a superstar overnight if he can beat 31-year-old Jorge Linares in their fight this Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Linares has been beaten before on several occasions, and the fighters that beat him weren’t turned into superstars. As such, I think Crolla’s pipe dream of him becoming a huge star in the boxing world after beating Linares is not going to happen, especially if the decision is one of those hometown variety decision wins.

Photo Credit: Mark Robinson Photography/Matchroom Boxing

I’m really hoping we’re NOT going to see an old fashioned robbery on Saturday night where the visiting fighter Linares finds himself getting shafted after doing a number on the 29-year-old Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs), but stranger things have happened in boxing.

I’ve seen Crolla dodge at least three defeats in his pro career with controversial decisions. At this point, I kind of expect it. I’m hoping we won’t see a controversial ending, but I definitely expect it if the fight goes to the cards. I saw what happened to Darleys Perez in his first fight against Crolla, and I also saw Gavin Rees wind up losing a fight that he appeared to win against him.

Who can forget the second fight between Derry Mathews and Crolla in 2013? Mathews fought his heart out and appeared to win easily on my scorecards only to wind up having to settle for a 12 round draw. Crolla has got to be the luckiest fighter in boxing, because I think he should have another three defeats on his record.

”Saturday night beating Jorge will turn me into a superstar. When the bell goes, those belts will be staying in Manchester!” said Crolla via Fight News.

I think where Crolla is coming from in flapping his gums about him being a superstar if he can beat Linares is with the Ring Magazine ratings. They currently have Linares at No.1, Dejan Zlaticanin at No.2 and Crolla at No.3. Crolla is probably thinking that if he beats Linares, it puts him at the top of the hill. Unfortunately, I don’t think the boxing fans agree with that stuff.

I don’t know if Crolla has ever heard of a fighter named Mikey Garcia. Well, he’s in the lightweight division and I think I think he’s worlds ahead of Crolla in the talent department. I mean, I think a fight between Crolla and Mikey Garcia would be a complete massacre. I feel the same way with the other lightweight talents like Robert Easter, Rances Barthlemy, Terry Flanagan, Zlaticanin and Richard Commey. Ring Magazine’s rankings don’t hold any water for me.

If anyone should be at the top of the rankings, it should be Mikey Garcia or maybe Easter. Having Crolla there after Saturday would make no sense to me, because I DO NOT think he could beat Mikey Garcia or even go five rounds with him. It would be such a mismatch that I think it would be a bad fight to make.

Nah, I can’t see Crolla being transformed into a star if he beats Linares on Saturday. If the guys that beat Linares in the past didn’t turn into stars (Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco and Juan Carlos Salgado), then I sure as heck don’t see Crolla being turned into a star either. Will beating Linares make Crolla more popular in the UK? Yes, of course it will. Crolla will become more popular in the UK market without a doubt, but let’s be real about where he’ll be in terms of world boxing.

Crolla will still be exactly where he is right now. For Crolla to become a TRUE superstar in the sport, he’s going to need to do a lot better than Linares. I’m just saying. Crolla will need to beat all of these fighters for him to become a superstar in my view: Mikey Garcia, Rances Barthlemy, Terry Flanagan, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Felix Verdejo, Richard Commey, Dejan Zlaticanin, Ray Beltran, Robert Easter and Miguel Vasquez. Do I think That Crolla can beat all of them? Nope. Do I think Crolla can beat some of them? Yep. Never the less, since Crolla’s goal is to be a superstar, I really don’t see him achieving that just by beating an aging inactive fighter like Linares. If all it takes to become a superstar is to beat Linares, then I would think there would be a long line of fighters that would want to fight him. The reality is that a win over Linares merely keeps Crolla as the WBA lightweight belt holder. Crolla will not be THE champion at lightweight after beating Linares.

Crolla will be another belt holder. For Crolla to become THE champion in the lightweight division, he’s going to need to beat Mikey Garcia, Rances Barthlemy, Terry Flanagan, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Felix Verdejo, Richard Commey, Dejan Zlaticanin, Ray Beltran, Robert Easter and Miguel Vaszquez. I wish Crolla a lot of luck in trying to accomplish that task. I don’t think he’ll even try. Instead, I see Crolla beating Linares and then blabbering that he’s the best fighter in the lightweight division rather than going about and trying to accomplish that. I just cannot see Crolla being able to beat Mikey Garcia, I really can’t. Each time I sit and think about what would happen in a fight between Crolla and Mikey Garcia, I picture Crolla flat on his back and the referee not even bothering to count. I think it would be such a mismatch that it wouldn’t even be funny. Mikey has the better power, better boxing skills, better defense and the better jab. Mikey is a different animal entirely than Crolla. In this sport, they don’t give out superstar labels on the cheap. You’ve got to earn it, and that’s why I think Crolla is seriously dreaming if he thinks he’s going to become a superstar by beating Linares. To me, a win for Crolla over Linares only puts him at the bottom of the lightweight hill. Crolla would still need to move up to the top and take a lot of scalps along the way before he can start blabbering about him being a superstar.

“This is the most important fight of my career. We are ready and come Saturday night, we are taking ALL the belts!” said Linares.

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