Crolla vs Linares: Eddie Hearn says Crolla can become a superstar
By Theo Chikomba
Last Updated: 22/09/16 5:24pm
Eddie Hearn says Anthony Crolla will become a superstar if he faces Jorge Linares on Saturday night.
The Manchester fans' favourite defends his WBA world title against the experienced three-weight world champion at the Manchester Arena, on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 2.
Crolla admits this will be the biggest test of his career but promoter Hearn feels the two lightweights' styles will not only gel but the outcome will prove how much the 29-year-old has improved since winning the title 10 months ago.
Hearn feels that victory was a turning point because Crolla was predicted to lose, and he reckons that in this fight he can elevate his career to the next level.
"It's a huge fight, there is something about Anthony Crolla," Hearn told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He's the nicest man in boxing but it all used to seem a little jovial, like he couldn't believe he was here.
"A win on Saturday turns him into a superstar. I think this is to be fight of the year, this victory."
Hearn says the key to a successful career is "dedication, confidence, commitment and ability", but believes the huge local support will be just as crucial to Crolla's challenge.
With Linares stopping Kevin Mitchell in his last fight in the United Kingdom and having boxed on four different continents, the Venezuelan is experienced and expected to pose plenty of problems.
But Hearn believes his fighter is already top of the 135lb division and the fans will see just how good their local hero is when it really matters.
"In my opinion, he is the No 1 lightweight in the world," he said. "Fans are going to see a real fight-of-the-year contender."
Watch Crolla v Linares, live on Sky Sports 2 this Saturday from 7.30pm