Linares outclasses Crolla to retain title

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Jorge Linares retained his WBA lightweight title with a convincing unanimous decision win over Anthony Crolla in Manchester.

In a rematch of their bout from September, Linares was far too good for Crolla, all three judges scoring Saturday's fight 118-109 in favour of the Venezuelan.

Linares (42-3) keeps his WBA and The Ring lightweight titles, but only after a gutsy effort by Crolla (31-6-3).

The fight appeared headed for a quick conclusion when a Linares uppercut sent Crolla to the canvas.

But the Brit, clearly dazed, managed to see out the seventh round and go the distance, although Linares was a clear winner.

It was in complete contrast to their thriller in September which led to the rematch, with Linares - who shapes as a challenger for undefeated WBC champion Mikey Garcia - too classy on this occasion.

"I'm in the best form," he said. "I worked three times as hard because I knew what I had in front of me."