Ricky Burns entered the world seen when a hardnosed body punching Roman Martinez from Puerto Rico was denied a win by the Scot who after a shaky start managed to dust himself off to earn a victory.
Having faced Martinez and Katsidis, Ricky has show he can deal with pressure fighters. In this fight it will be the first time he faces a guy like Terence Crawford who can box and come forward with a deeper layer of skill than say a past opponent such as Kevin Mitchell or Paulus Moses.
Burns two fights ago looked terrible against the unbeaten and untested Jose Gonzalez. Jose was boxing Burns socks off until Ricky made a bit of a run late but was saved by an injury sustain by Gonzalez forcing him to quit on the stool.
His last fight versus Ray Beltran was both disastrous on the scorecards and to his jaw which was broke in the second round. Ricky started fast with his jab until he began to hold near the end of that second round. He did manage to gut it out and actual win some rounds showing lots of heart in the process.
Most think Beltran was robbed or at the very least deserved to get his hand raise. There was some doubt if Ricky would be able to come back from the surgery.
Things have gone much smoother early on at least in the last year or so for the Top Rank prospect turned contender Terence Crawford. With the HBO light shined bright on the 22-0, Crawford has been very impressive passing the eye test leading up to his first title fight.
The best name on his ledger is Bredis Prescott who is known for making Amir Khan looked as his lower body was sinking in quicksand.
Crawford loves to use a stiff and active jab similar to his opponent, so we can expect a jab fest at least early while these two skilled fighter attempt to figure each other out. Crawford seems to have a bit more snap on his punches with a knockout ratio that should give him the advantage in power.
Terence looks relaxed in the ring and under control from either stance though he fights predominantly southpaw. He sports more than enough hand and foot speed to stay on the outside but again like Burns has also chose to come forward as the fight wears on.
A fluid puncher that changes levels and uses angles can also turn defense in to offensive with deadly force. Many off his recent knockouts have been timed shots that drop his opponents as they were coming at him.
A weakness I noticed in the Prescott fight took place in the middle of the ring, a place where this fight will take place for what could be large segments of many rounds.
Prescott, not really known for anything other than power, to an extent held his own when both combatants were measuring distance. Which begs the question, if Prescott can have some success why can’t Ricky have even more considering that location would be in his comfort zone? Which leads me to a question that will be answered come fight night.
Who will lead in a fight that will feature two fighters dancing their way into a position to punch?
Will it be Crawford the guy who needs all the points scored off busy work he can get being in the lion’s den of Glasgow, Scotland? Or will a slow start cause the crowd to boo thus putting some pressure to perform on the hometown hero?
My guess is in the early goings the action while not much will take place in the middle of the ring with both fighters taking turns pushing the pace.
Ricky will have experience and the crowd on his side, either way he needs to control distance and clinch when the fight is on the inside.
Crawford is the betting favorite and maybe he will come in over confident with a string of good performance under his belt coupled with inconsistency from Burns.
It’s hard not to think Burns is wearing down as he gets up an age with his best days behind him. And with Crawford just now hitting his peek the “Rickster” may be ripe for the pickings.
It’s a huge fight for the U.K. with Burns being one of the few fighters carrying the flag at the world level. Whoever wins this East versus West battle can be assured a big profile boost.
If Ricky Burns comes out with a clean victory he will have cemented his legacy adding to the already rabid fans that support him each time out.
A win for Terence Crawford puts him in near the top spot of a weak division. More importantly it makes his name more known in region of the world. A victory in enemy territory would reaffirm what has been already placed on Crawford as a fighter who is full of talent with pound for pound aspirations and a possible matchup with Mikey Garcia right around the corner.
This fight will be filled with ebbs and flow for the first half. A mix bag of a jab contest, both fighters taking turns leading their dance partner, and some good old fashion action from both fighters who’ve showed in the past their not afraid to let it rip.
My official prediction is Terence Crawford by Spilt Decision. Crawford will need to hurt and/or drop Burns in order to take the belt back home with him.
Written by Chris Carlson Owner and Host of Rope A Dope Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
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