Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla: Challenger told to be 'selfish' to avenge defeat

Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares
Manchester fighter Crolla (left) lost the WBA lightweight belt to Linares in September last year
Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla
Venue: Manchester Arena Date: Saturday, 25 March
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, text commentary, images and social media debate on BBC Sport website & app

Anthony Crolla believes an enforced selfishness will help him create "one of the most special nights in Manchester boxing" on Saturday.

The 30-year-old faces WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares at Manchester Arena, six months after being outpointed by the Venezuelan.

Trainer Joe Gallagher has asked Crolla to become more "selfish, angry and horrible" to beat the 31-year-old.

"My speed's improved, my variation of shots has improved," said Crolla.

"I just think I'm a bit more clever in the ring," the Mancunian told BBC Sport.

"I've had to be a little bit selfish and miss out on a few things, like training kids at the old amateur club. But I certainly feel the benefits of being locked away a bit more this camp."

Crolla believes September's fight turned in the sixth round after one of the hardest punches he has received.

Defending the WBA title he claimed in 2015, he was beaten for the fifth time in his 39-fight career.

If Crolla avenges the defeat, he will also claim the Ring Magazine title, becoming the first English lightweight to do so.

"He's a sharp counter-puncher with power in either hand, so I've got to fight using my head and not just my heart," added Crolla.

"It's very hard to top winning a world title but I believe winning back this world title, when I'm fighting a future hall of famer and for the prizes I'm fighting him for, would go down as one of the most special nights in Manchester boxing."

Linares, who left Venezuela to train in Japan at the age of 17, has held world titles in three weight divisions on his way to a record of 41 wins from 44 fights.

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