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Fight Preview: Ricky Burns up against it in facing a gem in Terence Crawford

Waiting for the next available opportunity to see unbeaten Terrence Crawford (22-0, 16 KO’s) in action, this Saturday March 1st is the date, the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, Scotland the place, and current WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11 KO’s) the victim, I mean opponent.

Keeping it real, no matter how many tapes Burns has watched, or how many an arduous round he’s sparred in preparation for the native of Omaha, Nebraska, once reality sets in, the Scotsman will be hard pressed to retain his title. This in a bout that shouldn’t be close enough to even think of awarding Ricky a gift decision as that rendered most recently against Raymundo Beltran.

It just doesn’t take much to see that Crawford is gem, perhaps the best thing since sliced bread as it relates to the sport of boxing to have demonstrated he’s the total package. Reminiscent of a bygone era, Terrence both talent wise and from an aesthetic perspective is the type of fighter which initially prompted myself and many others to take to the sport.

That said, in alluding to his prowess my observations of Crawford are in fact akin to that of Tim Bradley. “He beat me up [in sparring]. Most people what they’ll do is crumble. He didn’t. This kid is talented. He has speed, he has power, he could switch. But the thing I like about him is that he makes adjustments. That’s the key. He’s the goods. He’s a future world champion.”

And that future is at hand as well as the clock ticking for Ricky Burns who rightfully coming in as the underdog is from a technical standpoint simply not on the level of the challenger in most if not all categories.  

Although possessing the heart of a champion, Ricky has clearly demonstrated he’s not the most talented of men to have struggled against lessor opponents. Devoid of sufficient footwork to be effective against agile opponents, Burns despite fair hand speed in addition lacks accuracy to the point of being uneconomical at times. 

Not the case with Crawford who crafty as they come will make the defending champion pay handsomely whether mistakes are made or not. The question is, in plying his trade will the Nebraskan fighter destined for stardom finish Burns before the limit, or will a unanimous decision verdict be the end result?

But hold on let’s not jump the gun. Looking to will his way past the challenger backed by a partisan crowd of singing Scots, there may be hope for Burns. Enter an Act of God or a  fight ending injury as that suffered by Puerto Rican fighter Jose Gonzalez who similar in style to Crawford was only two fights back having his way with Ricky. In light of this the title may very well reside in Scotland after all is said and done.

And with Burns considering moving up to 140 after supposedly defeating Terrence to in fact win a title there as well, it’s the first part about moving up to 140 that should be par for the course after what I surmise will be total domination if not an outright beat down issued at the hands of a most confident and visiting Crawford.

“All the pressure is on Ricky Burns on Saturday night and there’s nothing the 11,000 fans in the arena can do,” said Terrence. “What can they do apart from yell and scream? I’ve fought the boos before and I’ll do it again. It’s definitely my time now. I am ready to become a world champion no doubt about it.”

Come what may it should be good as long as it lasts of which action you can catch on Sky Sports in Britain, as well as across the U.S. exclusively on AWE [A Wealth of Entertainment] this Saturday starting at 2PM ET/11AM PT as Terrence Crawford looks to dethrone Ricky Burns for the WBO lightweight world title. 

Also appearing on what looks to be an intriguing undercard will be British Olympic super heavyweight Gold Medal winner Anthony Joshua who in his fifth pro contest is set to square off with Argentinian Hector Avila while fellow Olympian Anthony Ogogo, also fighting for a fifth time, takes on the U.K.’s Greg O’Neill.