Anthony Crolla brings in Irish sparring for Jorge Linares rematch

Next month Anthony Crolla will challenge for the WBA lightweight title at the Manchester Arena.

The Manchester fighter takes on Venezuelan Jorge Linares on March 25th in a rematch of their clash last September at the same venue.

That time saw Crolla lose the WBA belt to ‘El Niño de Oro’ in a close but clear points decision (114:115, 113:115, 111:117) in what was his second defence.

In an attempt to retain the title, ‘Million Dollar’ hs drafted in an Irish sparring partner to replicate Linares.

Belfast super feather Anthony Cacace [15(7)-0] flew out to Gallagher’s Gym in Bolton this morning for a week’s worth of sparring with the Matchroom star, with his rangey, surgical style being seen as perfect preparation for the South American.

Cacace said that it “should be a great experience to say the least, mixing it with one of the best lightweights in the world.”

It’s not the first time that Crolla has brought in Irish sparring, with Phil Sutcliffe Jr having spent some time in camp with him last year. Crolla would later describe the Dubliner as the hardest puncher he had ever faced.

For Celtic champion Cacace it is an opportunity to stay sharp as he bides his time in wait for his British super featherweight title opportunity. Martin J Ward will defend the belt against Maxi Hughes on the Crolla undercard, and the winner must defend against Cacace.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie