Ricky Burns will defend his WBO World Lightweight title against Terence Crawford at the SECC in Glasgow on March 1.
Burns makes the fifth defense of his crown against American hotshot Crawford, the unbeaten Omaha star with 16 KO wins from his 22 bouts. Tickets for the event will go on sale at 1pm on Monday January 13, with promoter Eddie Hearn holding a press conference in Glasgow that day where he will reveal details on the undercard.
The Scotsman had a tough year in 2013, with a ninth round stoppage win over Jose Gonzalez in May followed by a draw against Raymundo Beltran on a dramatic night in Glasgow in September, surviving a broken jaw and a knock down to set up a clash with the 26 year old mandatory challenger Crawford.
Burns is back in training after getting the all-clear from the doctors on his jaw, and the 30 year old is determined to kick 2014 off with a big performance to prove he’s a force to be reckoned with in the Lightweight division. Here’s what Burns had to say:
“I have a point to prove.
“I’ve had two bad performances, we’ve made a few changes and some adjustments, we’re going to be doing things differently, and fingers crossed that we see a new Ricky Burns on March 1.
“As soon as the jaw injury happened against Beltran I went into survival mode. Everybody knew that something was wrong, even if they didn’t know exactly what it was. When the final bell went I wasn’t caring about the decision, I just knew that I had done damage.
“The first couple of months after the operation were a nightmare. They told me to watch what I was eating and I could hardly open my mouth, I couldn’t speak.
“Everybody is writing me off again with Terence but that doesn’t bother me, I like being the underdog and I can’t wait to get back out there again in front of another great Glasgow crowd.”
Crawford fights outside America for the first time in his career, and he’s warning Burns that he’ll go one better than Gonzalez and Beltran and rip the title from his hands.
“I hope Burns is ready to walk to hell and back,” said Crawford. “I’m going to fight with all my heart. I have the determination and the skill to win the world title and bring it home.”
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum added: “We believe Terence Crawford is ready to win the title and take it home to Omaha.”
It’s another massive night in Glasgow for Burns, and Hearn says March 1 is a make-or-break fight for his man.
“This is a must win fight for Ricky and perhaps the toughest of his incredible career,” said Hearn.
“Ricky is more determined than I’ve ever seen him and to have that frame after the injury that he suffered during the Beltran fight is testament to the type of character and fighter he is.
“Crawford is hot property in the States but we managed to bring him here, out of his comfort zone and right now Ricky needs the people of Scotland behind him more than ever. March 1 will be a special night at the SECC, the latest chapter of the remarkable Ricky Burns story.”