Anthony Crolla revealed who he’s backing for the upcoming bout between Jorge Linares and Mercito Gesta, picking the man who took his WBA World Lightweight Title from him in 2016.

Speaking on our BoxNation Podcast, ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla thinks the Venezuelan will retain his belt this Saturday without too much trouble, and doubts that Gesta will hear the final bell against the three-weight World Champion.

"This is a fight that certainly favours Jorge. It’s a fight I expect Jorge to win, and win well. I’ve only seen a little bit of Gesta, I mean he’s certainly capable. But stylistically I think Linares will land the nice flashy combinations, so whether Gesta will see the final bell or not, I’m not so sure.

Jan 27th

"I think it all depends on Jorge, how he is after six, whether he’s going in for the finish or whether he’s gonna see it out. But I’m sure he’ll be looking to make a bit of a statement towards the Mikey Garcia fight that now looks like it’s going to happen, which is great for boxing."

Now that the President of the World Boxing Council has ordered a fight between Linares and Mikey Garcia, Crolla is a little unsure which way the much-anticipated bout could go, but still stands by Linares and hopes to be on the front row rooting for his one-time opponent.

"It’s the hardest fight out there for him in Mikey Garcia. You’d certainly get the edge of power from Garcia, but I’d still go with Jorge. It’s so tough though, it really is. I’d expect Jorge to develop an early lead, but it’s just what happens when Garcia lands?

"It’s the kind of fight where I’d pay good money to be there," added the Manchester man.

Listen to the rest of the BoxNation Podcast below, featuring an interview with Tyson Fury.

Alternatively, download on iTunes or listen on SoundCloud.