We could be seeing the end of WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns’ time as a world champion when he defends his WBO 135 lb strap against his No.1 challenger American Terence Crawford (22-0, 16 KO’s) at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. While Burns has talked about having come up what he feels is the perfect plan to beat the 26-year-old Crawford, it just doesn’t seem all that likely that those plans will pan out for the 30-year-old Scotland born Burns.
Crawford has every advantage that you can think of in this fight against Burns, and the only thing that Burns has going for him is hometown advantage. Fighting at home seemed to save Burns from losing his last fight against Raymundo Beltran last September, as Burns was dominated thoroughly from start to finish in that fight but was still given a 12 round draw for his efforts. However, it’s highly unlikely that this fight will result in another controversial decision.
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has already spoken to the World Boxing Organization president Francisco Varcarcel to make sure that the best judges are working the fight so that we don’t see a repeat of the Burns-Beltran fight. Even if there are three judges that seem to be way off in their scoring of what actually is occurring in the ring, Burns is so over-matched in this fight that it’s going to be very difficult for the judges to give him rounds because Crawford will likely be the one that starts and finishes every exchange. He’s such a great counter puncher, and his speed is so incredibly quick that it’s going to make it tough for Burns on Saturday to do anything other than take shots.
One of the problems that Crawford has had in the past is that he waits until his opponents throw a shot to let his hands go, but he’s getting a lot better at being first by initiating the action and then countering whatever his opponents do. He realizes that for him to be a huge star in the sport, he has to be the one that takes the action to his opponents.
Burns will likely try and smother Crawford’s offense by getting in close and turning the fight into an inside war similar to what he did against Jose Gonzalez last May. I don’t think it’s going to work, but Burns has no other choice but to turn the fight into a smothering clinch-filled affair because he’ll get dominated if he gives Crawford any space in this fight to get his shots off.
Also on the card will be the following fights:
John Simpson vs John Murray – lightweights
Scott Cardle vs. Paul Appleby – lightweights
Anthony Ogogo vs. Greg O’Neill – middleweights
Anthony Joshua vs. Hector Alfredo Avila – Heavyweights