Ricky Burns lost his WBO Lightweight title against a very durable and defiant Terence Crawford. The man from Omaha Nebraska came over to take the title away from the Scotsman who for the last 3 and a half years has totally dominated the division beating every one who was put in front of him with relative ease. However since his last fight against Raymundo Beltram in what some viewed as Burns first near loss, and shattering his jaw early on in the fight, Burns’ future did not look too promising. But his promoter Eddie Hearn got him back in the ring in relatively quick time to face the American, who himself has a good record being an Olympic gold medallist, is unbeaten, and judging from the weigh in on Friday he was clearly hungry for the win.
The fight began with Crawford on the offence from the start showing his speed and throwing off Burns who from the uptake, was missing something from his arsenal. The first round went unnervingly for the Burns fans to Crawford, but we were all hoping that this was Burns warming up or was shaking off some ring rust. But for the next 11 rounds it was clear that Ricky was very edgy in every attack he tried desperately to put together against the American, who defended well against the offence of Burns. From rounds 4 onwards the fight looked like it was going to be a one of Burns toughest nights out and that his mind was not quite 100% , as Jim Watt was continuously saying that his jaw was causing him concern, which was leaving him wide open to the counter attacks from Crawford. As the fight went on the huge sell out crowd in Scotland were allot more subdued compared to when their man entered the arena and this continued until the last round as it was obvious that Burns would need a clean knock out to recover his belt which he has fought so many battles to keep. But tonight, it was leaving him unless he could muster up some kind of decent last attack. The corner tried to keep Ricky stable, but you could see that the fight wasn’t going to have any shift of direction. Crawford was too good on his feet and the upper body movement he put together was unable to get connected with any of the short combination’s that Burns was throwing in almost distress at Crawford. The bell sounded for the end of round 12 and it was obvious who the winner was and it was just a matter of confirming the scorecards. These were read out as a unanimous win to Crawford 116-112 117-111 116-112 and the title was heading to Omaha Nebraska for the first time in boxing history.
It was a sad night for Ricky, who is and always will be one of my all time favourite fighters who shows his metal in every contest, but to come back from what is described as a multiple broken jaw and get back in the ring against such an opponent was very brave and he yet again showed the true heart of a world class fighter. Should he of relinquished his title after his last fight when the injury was so extreme, probably? But as I have said, Burns is and always will be one of our best and most loved fighters and not many fighters will experience the true fan base that he has enjoyed every time he steps across the apron to fight, and last night was certainly no exception. As you will see from the interview below, Eddie Hearn has plans to get Ricky back in the ring for a possible world title eliminator next. We will have to wait and see how this develops, as I am sure there are going to be some genuine concerns in the Burns camp for the future, and whatever happens to Ricky, he will always be one of the very best World Champions that Scotland has ever produced.
Terence Crawford now leaves Scotland to be Omaha Nebraska’s very first resident world boxing champion. The last world champion who was born there was Max Baer in 1909. Check out this classic fight from June 13th 1935 with The Cinderella Man James J Braddock fighting Max Baer in what was one of the greatest nights of boxing from this fabulous era of the sport.
I have also found this interesting piece on Max Baer and the mis conception of the great man in the movie Cinderella Man.