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Crawford defeats Burns; Joshua beats Avila in 1st round TKO

WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-3-1, 11 KO’s) gave it his best shot tonight, but it wasn’t good enough to turn back challenger Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KO’s), who defeated him by a 12 round unanimous decision to capture his WBO 135 lb title at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. The judges scores were 115-112, 115-112 and 117-111. The 117-111 score was more indicative to what happened in the ring tonight.

The 115-112 scores were wishful thinking scores, because there’s no way this fight was that close. The Scottish crowd was absolutely silent at the end of the fight even before the scores were read. They knew that Burns had lost and they just stood there watching without saying a word.

Crawford hurt Burns at least 2, possibly 3 times in the fight with big shots that sent him retreating to the ropes in the 4th and 5th rounds. Crawford landed a lot of hard head shots in those rounds, and pretty much all of the rounds of the fight. Burns did a good job of covering up, but he couldn’t block everything that was coming his way.

The way that Burns fought tonight it was as if he still had his broken jaw from his last fight, because he wasn’t nearly as aggressive as he had in the past. But then against Crawford’s counter punching had the effective of making Burns tentative because he was getting hit each time he’d throw something. In a lot of cases, Burns would throw a shot that would miss badly, and Crawford would come right back with a pinpoint shot to the head to counter Burns.

In the last half of the fight, Burns held frequently and he didn’t appear to be trying to win anymore. It was like he was just stalling like he had been in his previous fight against Raymundo Beltran last September. The judges gave Burns a 12 round draw out of that fight despite the fact that he was stalling from the 2nd round on and not trying to win. But this time the judges weren’t going to give Burns the victory off of him doing nothing.

Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn is going to need to figure out what to do with him, because there’s no point in putting him back in with Crawford. Burns will lose that fight 100 out of 100 times.

In the co-feature bout, heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (5-0, 5 KO’s) won a 1st round TKO victory over Argentinian fighter Hector Alfredo Avila (22-16-1, 14 KO’s). Joshua landed a short left hook to put Avila down on the canvas. The shot landed just as Avila was trying to throw a punch of his own, and he wasn’t expecting it. It was a punch that didn’t look particularly powerful, but Avila acted like it was because he took his time getting back up from it. The referee halted the fight at 2:14 of the round.

In a mismatch, former EBU lightweight champion John Murray (33-2, 20 KO’s) showed that he still has a little left in the tank in defeating John Simpson (25-11, 11 KO’s) by a 2nd round TKO. Murray knocked Simpson down several times with body shots before the fight was halted at 2:58 of the round. Murray came into the fight having lost 2 out of his last 3 fights.

Lightweight Scott Cardle (14-0, 3 KO’s) scored a rare knockout for him in halting Paul Appleby (19-6, 11 KO’s) by an 8th round knockout. Cardle dropped Appleby in the 8th. After Appleby got up, he stood with his back to the referee staring at the crowd. By the time he got his senses to turn back around, the referee had stopped the fight.

Unbeaten 2012 Olympic middleweight bronze medalist for Britain Anthony Ogogo (5-0, 2 KO’s) defeated Greg O’Neill (3-2, 1 KO’s) by a 6 round points decision. Ogogo won by the score 60-54.

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