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Summary

  1. Linares beats Crolla 118-109 on all three judges' scorecards
  2. Anthony Crolla has now won 31 of 40 fights (six losses, three draws)
  3. Venezuelan Jorge Linares has won 42 of 45 fights (three losses)
  4. Get involved: #bbcboxing

Live Reporting

By Alex Bysouth

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    .

    Well that was fast, furious and outright ferocious at times. A wonderful display from Jorge Linares.

    While the fleet-footed Venezuelan was the superior technician, Anthony Crolla was never going to be beaten on heart and desire.

    But that wasn't enough against one of the world's pound-for-pound best fighters, and Linares clung on to his WBA lightweight title in Manchester.

    Crolla says he'll come again, Linares definitely will. If you want to re-live it, read Luke Reddy's report right here.

    As for us, that's a wrap. Until next time...

  2. 'I can come again'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    So what next for Anthony Crolla?

    "I'm just going to rest, but I believe I can come again," he said. "I lost to a very good fighter.

    "I'm going to sit down, rebuild with Joe (Gallagher) and the team." 

  3. 'We will choose an easier world title'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Promoter Eddie Hearn has also been talking to BBC Radio 5 live. 

    He said: "I thought after the first fight Jorge Linares would not perform a career-best performance and he did. He was absolutely brilliant.

    "It is so hard when Anthony Crolla comes up to you and says 'I'm so sorry'. You lost on points to one of the best pound for pound fighters.

    "We will choose an easier world title. Anthony Crolla will be back 100%, he is an ultimate professional and a credit to himself."

  4. Post update

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    View more on twitter

    Former two-weight world champion Joe Calzaghe congratulates the Manchester fighter, despite his defeat.

  5. 'One of the best in the world'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Crolla's trainer Joe Gallagher has been talking to BBC Radio 5 live and is asked why he nearly pulled Crolla out of the fight after the 11th round.

    Gallagher said: "I thought we were not going to win this, but Anthony pleaded and said 'let me go on'. He wanted to go out on his shield.

    "Linares was very good and everyone could see what a great world champion he is. You have seen one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world tonight."

  6. 'Gutted'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    BBC Radio 5 live

    A little more from Anthony Crolla, who has been talking to BBC Radio 5 live and said: "Tonight I got beat by the better man.

    "Jorge Linares boxed very well and I could just not pin him down. I was pleading with Joe (Gallagher) to let me go on (for the last round), and you still believe you can land a shot.

    "I'm gutted I couldn't do it in front of these fans and sorry I could not bring the belt back to Manchester."

  7. 'I got beat by the better man'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    Anthony Crolla is looking a little tearful, here's what he has to say: "Jorge Linares is a great fighter and a great champion.

    "Manchester I'm so sorry I couldn't do it for you. Your support, honestly I'm taken aback by it. It means so much to me.

    "He came up with a great shot that put me over, before that I was trying to close the distance.

    "I got beat off the better man, no excuses."

    Crolla
  8. Get Involved

    #bbcboxing

    Kassim Patel: Not the WBA champion but definitely the people's champion! Respect all round.  

    Alex Robertson: Great match! Linares & Crolla have been excellent athletes tonight, and whoever wins deserved it  

  9. 'A magician'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    Steve Bunce

    Boxing pundit on BBC Radio 5 live

    The crowd cannot perform miracles and Linares was a magician in there. When you lose to a man like that, there is no shame for Anthony Crolla.

  10. 'Crolla has a huge heart'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    More from Jorge Linares: "I worked three times as hard because I knew what I had in front of me. 

    "I want to tell everybody in Manchester that Anthony Crolla has a huge heart - that's why he made it to the 12th round with me.

    "I did what I had to. We fulfilled it. Now I want to go back to the USA and get the biggest fights, the best fights against the best opponents."

  11. 'Linares had too much skill'

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    Hughie Fury

    Heavyweight world title contender on BBC Radio 5 live

    Crolla tried his best to fight him, box him, out think him, but Linares had too much skill, too much movement.

    There is nothing worse than when you miss the shots and then get hit. It is demoralising. He didn't look hurt in there, but he was out-skilled and out-boxed.

  12. Get Involved #bbcboxing

    Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    Naveed Afzal‏: That was a really good fight. Linares far too good but Crolla with the heart of a lion. Loved the sportsmanship.

  13. 'I love you Manchester'

    Linares beats Crolla

    Here's Jorge Linares: "Thank you everybody, thank you Manchester. I love you.

    "I respect and admire all of you. I didn't feel the pressure like I did last time, because I know I had admiration.

    "Both Anthony and I fought our hearts out."

  14. Post update

    Jorge Linares beats Anthony Crolla

    Hughie Fury

    Heavyweight world title contender on BBC Radio 5 live

    Crolla has the heart of a lion.

  15. Post update

    Jorge Linares beats Anthony Crolla

  16. Linares beats Crolla by unanimous decision

    Anthony Crolla knows the way this one's gone, he's embraced by Jorge Linares and it's the Venezuelan who retains his title.

    Linares takes a unanimous decision from the judges. An absolute masterclass. All three judges score it 118-109 to the Venezuelan.

    Crolla Linares
  17. 'A pleasure to watch Linares'

    Linares v Crolla, round 12

    Steve Bunce

    Boxing pundit on BBC Radio 5 live

    We said it would be more difficult than the first time. We thought Crolla could adjust, get closer. No way. Every second of every round, Linares was on it, it was a pleasure to watch him.

  18. Post update

    Linares v Crolla, round 12

    Anthony Crolla's face is bloodied, Jorge Linares looks calm and composed.

    Crolla knows it's now or never and goes after the Venezuelan, but Linares is comfortable and just rides anything the Manchester fighter has to offer before looking to throw a combo himself.

    And that's the bell. That must be Linares'.

    Linares v Crolla, round 11
  19. 'Bizarre'

    Linares v Crolla, round 11

    Steve Bunce

    Boxing pundit on BBC Radio 5 live

    It was bizarre. Joe Gallagher has to make the decision. It would have been the right decision (to stop it).

  20. Post update

    Linares v Crolla, round 12

    Joe Gallagher composes his fighter, is he going to end it at the 11th?

    No, Anthony Crolla is back in the ring and it's looking like going the distance. 

    Crolla jockeys forward, he swings a huge left and Jorge Linares ducks before finding himself wrapped around the waist of the Manchester man.