Burns has jaw surgery, his career in doubt

By Boxing News - 09/08/2013 - Comments

By Scott Gilfoid: WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns is recovering from jaw surgery after having had his jaw broken by the hard hitting challenger Raymundo Beltran last Saturday night in Glasgow, Scotland. No one gave Beltran much of a shot to win the fight except for me. I knew he was going to whip Burns. Beltran ended up giving Burns a real beating and then getting jobbed by the judges with the fight being scored a 12 round draw.

Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn is concerned that his career is in danger due to the severity of the broken jaw. A Titanium plate has reportedly been inserted into Burns jaw to stabilize it, according to Sky Sports. It’s obviously going to take quite some time for Burns’ jaw to fully recover, if it ever does.

Hearn said to Sky Sports “The doctor confirmed he had a clean break in his jaw…we are hoping it will be successful so he can resume his career…Beltran told me he could hear Ricky squealing every time they went for a clinch…I can’t guarantee it [a rematch] will happen, but I can’t guarantee Ricky will ever box again. We don’t know how well he will recover from that.”

I think Hearn is overplaying this a bit, because I’ve never heard of a boxer whose career has ended because of a broken jaw. I’ve heard of plenty of fighters that have suffered broken jaws in fights, but never heard of one that couldn’t continue his boxing career.

I wonder why Hearn is bringing up the worst case scenario. It makes me think he’s not going to put Burns back in with Beltran again. He basically pretty much said it anyway by saying “I can’t guarantee it [a rematch] will happen.” When you see a promoter saying that immediately after their fighter was given a controversial draw in a fight that he should have lost, it tells me it’s the kiss of death as far as a rematch between Burns and Beltran goes.

I don’t see it ever happening. Beltran is too damn good, and Burns seems to be slipping in a major way; whether that be from age or the fact that he’s finally facing quality opposition after all these years is hard to say. I think it’s more of the case of Burns finally fighting some good fighters, because he’s really been matched softly as heck during his career, and even as his time as the WBO champion. How is it that Burns has never fought Adrien Broner, Omar Figueroa and Terence Crawford all this time?

As far as the theory goes about Burns only looking bad because he suffered a broken jaw in the 2nd round in the Beltran fight, I don’t believe that for a second. Burns has always been a holder, a runner and a fighter that goes to the ropes to cover up. Watch his other fights against Paulus Moses and Michael Katsidis, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Burns grabs his opponents at almost every opportunity to keep them from getting their shots off. He likes to throw his own punches, and then run around the ring. If his opponent gets in range to throw shots of his own, Burns grabs them. This kind of thing would be stopped by a good referee with Burns getting points taken away for this obvious move, but he’s gotten away with it during his career. Last night, Burns should have major points deducted, but the referee let him get away with holding all night long. Can you imagine what Beltran would have done to Burns had he not been held so often.

Some fans are saying that Beltran didn’t do enough in the 11th and 12th rounds to win the fight. I disagree. But if you watch those two rounds you’ll notice that Burns seemed to increase his holding in both of those rounds to the point where he’d grab Beltran each time he cut off the ring and cornered Burns.

Ideally, Burns should have been docked points in the 11th and 12th rounds for his holding, because he was preventing his opponent from throwing punches. Holding is okay if it’s occasional, but this was FAR from occasional. Burns was using the holding as his main defense strategy, and that’s not supposed to be allowed.

Referees are supposed to do their job to police fighters that break the rules by constantly holding like Burns, but last night Burns was able to get away with it for 12 rounds. For that reason, I couldn’t give Burns more than 2-3 rounds tops, and I think he should have been disqualified by the 10th round for the holding. I’m not surprised that he wasn’t disqualified or penalized given the location of the fight, and like I said before, I’m so not surprised that he was given a draw in a fight that he clearly lost. It just makes him look bad that the judges gave him a draw.

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