Crawford ready for Burns after Klimov fight

ricky burns  photoBy Scott Gilfoid: #1 WBO lightweight contender Terence Crawford (21-0, 16 KO’s) is ready to come gunning for WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns after Crawford takes care of undefeated Andrey Klimov (16-0, 8 KO’s) in their fight on Saturday night at the Amway Center, in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank will be looking to get Burns to travel from his home country of Scotland to face Crawford in the U.S in the early part of 2014, as long as a deal can be made, according to Dan Rafael.

Crawford told ESPN “I’m read [to fight Burns for his WBO strap] but I am not looking past Klimov.”

Crawford will likely take care of the light hitting Klimov was ease on Saturday night on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez fight, but I doubt that Burns will show any interest at all in coming over to the U.S to fight a talent like Crawford.

Arum is hoping to make a deal with Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn to have Burns coming over to the U.S., but Hearn has already said in the past that he has no interest in letting Burns go over to the U.S. He prefers to have him fighting in the UK, and who can blame him.

We just saw how unbeatable Burns is in his recent 12 round draw against Raymundo Beltran last month in Glasgow, Scotland. Burns appeared to lose 9 of the 12 rounds, yet he was given a draw out of it. That was really sad scoring, and it’s no wonder then that Hearn likes the idea of Burns fighting at home in Scotland.

It might take a knockout to beat him when he’s getting scoring like that. Hearn already said a month ago that his plans for Burns after the Beltran fight were to fight a unification bout against one of the lightweight champions. It seems that Hearn is interested in matching Burns up against IBF champion Miguel Vazquez next rather than Crawford.

Since Burns has another optional title defense coming up, bet on him either taking a soft job or a unification bout. I see Burns taking an easy title defense against a bottom dweller in the top 15, and then after that bypassing Crawford to fight a unification bout.

Burns has been showing signs of slipping lately with his struggle to beat Jose Gonzalez and then the Beltran fight. With Burns seemingly near the end of the line as the WBO champion, I don’t expect Hearn to be courageous with him by letting him fight Crawford next or anytime soon.

As for Crawford, he’ll likely have to wait until 2015 before he gets a shot at Burns’ WBO title whether he has the belt or not. Burns is going to be recovering for the remainder of 2013 from his broken jaw and likely 3-4 months of 2014.

That’ll give Burns enough time to defense his WBO title twice in 2014; once against a probable bottom 15 opponent followed by a unification bout. As such, Crawford will have to wait until 2015 to fight for the WBO title.

Saturday’s fight between Crawford and Klimov won’t be an exciting fight because Klimov lacks the power to give Crawford problems in this fight. It’s going to take a fast lightweight with a ton of power to eventually give Crawford problems, and Klimov has neither of those attributes going for him. He’s slow, easy to hit, and not particularly powerful. He also has an inflated record filled with obscure opposition.


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