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Ricky Burns has no advantages against Miguel Vazquez

Miguel Vazquez Ricky BurnsBy Scott Gilfoid: WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO’s) won’t have his customary height and reach advantage when he faces the 5’10” IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KO’s) on March 16th at the Wembley Arena in London, UK. Burns, 5’10”, is accustomed to having between a 2” to 5” inch height and a 3” to 6” reach advantage over his mostly smaller opponents.

The only fight where Burns fought someone who was taller than him was his bout against a badly over-matched Joseph Laryea in March 2011. Well, Burns isn’t going to have a height advantage on March 16th against Vazquez, and in fact, Burns will be giving away two inches in reach to the long-armed Vazquez in this fight.

What this means is that Burns won’t be able to stand on the outside to peck away with his jab. That’s not going to work here. Right off the bat, Vazquez will have the better outside game. Burns also won’t be able to depend on taking the fight to the inside so that he can throw body shots, wrestle, hold and hit, and put Vazquez in arm bars.

Vazquez isn’t a stationary fighter, so it’s impossible to force him to fight inside. When Burns fought Paulus Moses last year, Burns spent the majority of the fight in close, wrestling and fighting Moses on the inside. Burns obviously did this because Moses had a 2 ½” reach advantage.

It worked for Burns to smother Moses offense because Moses didn’t have the ability to move around the ring to keep Burns from coming inside and smothering him with clinches and wrestling for 12 rounds.

Vazquez won’t allow Burns to use that tactic and there’s really not much Burns can do. He won’t be able to fight on the outside, and he won’t get the opportunities to fight on the inside because Vazquez won’t be stupid enough to just stand there to let Burns smother him.

I see Vazquez’s constant movement and changing angles being too much for Burns in this fight. I think Burns might start fouling left and right out of frustration at his inability to land his shots, so I hope the referee is on the job because we don’t want to see Vazquez beaten up with fouls.

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