Fans of WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11 KO’s) might want to tune in tonight to see him defend his title against No.1 WBO Terence Crawford (22-0, 16 KO’s) because it will probably be the last time that Burns holds the WBO title, as he’s expected to lose and lose big in this fight at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Burns has the hometown advantage, but it’s not likely that the judges will give him the benefit of the doubt by saving him from another loss.
Burns should have lost his last fight against Raymundo Beltran in Glasgow last September in his title defense against Raymundo Beltran, but the judges working that fight thought he fought well enough to receive a 12 round draw. Surprisingly, One judge even had Burns winning the fight by a 115-112 score. However, none of those three judges will be working tonight’s fight between Burns and Crawford. Burns suffered a fractured jaw in the Beltran fight. It’s since healed, but you can count on Crawford targeting it tonight to see if he can possibly re-break it.
Burns has looked pretty ragged in his last couple of bouts. While some fans might think it’s age starting to show in the game of the 30-year-old Burns, it’s more likely the case that Burns is finally starting to face tough opposition that have the skills, size and power to give him problems. You have to remember that Burns has faced largely weak and badly flawed opponents during the past four years. He does have wins over Kevin Mitchell, Michael Katsidis and Roman Martinez, but none of those guys are at the level of the top fighters in the lightweight division now. Crawford, Gonzalez, Beltran, Omar Figueroa, Richard Abril, Miguel Vazquez and Yuriorkis Gamboa are so much better than those guys. Had Burns been fighting those guys in the past couple of years, he’d probably have already lost his title. Beltran was clearly on the receiving end of a hometown decision, so you’ve got to count that as a loss for Burns.
Crawford is a master counter puncher with better speed, power, size and defensive skills than Burns. Crawford is a better fighter than Burns in every category, and that’s what makes this fight look so bleak for Burns. He doesn’t have anything going for him other than this being another hometown fight for him, and perhaps his experience. The experience isn’t a big deal because Burns hasn’t faced the kinds of tough opposition that he should have.