“Boxing Ring” (CC BY 2.0) by CarlosPacheco
Newly crowned light welterweight titleholder Ricky Burns made history when he beat Michele di Rocco to become Scotland’s first ever three weight world champion, but is he ready to avenge his loss to Terence Crawford?
Crawford, who is rated as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and is due to take on Viktor Postol on July the 23rd in a unification bout at 140 pounds, is at odds of 1/6 for the fight, according to 32Red UK and Betway.
Burns fought Crawford back in 2014 but the classy American had too much skill and power for his opponent and won on points to capture the WBO lightweight championship.
That result capped off a sequence of poor performances from the Scot which started when Burns moved away from Frank Warren’s stable and joined Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
In his first fight for the new promotion he faced off against Jose Gonzalez and after being outclassed for the first six rounds he came back well in the next few rounds and forced the Puerto Rican to retire on his stool.
It was his next contest against Raymundo Beltran that would cause people to question his future. Burns was put to the canvas in the eighth round but he managed to pick himself up to earn a controversial split decision draw, a result which angered many fans who felt the Mexican had won the fight comfortably.
The Scot’s night didn’t get any better as it was announced that Burns had to have a metal plate installed during surgery following a broken jaw.
The WBO then mandated Burns to defend his title against Crawford in his first match back since the surgery. Crawford dominated the contest and came away with the title.
Since then Crawford defended the lightweight title twice before moving up a weight class to capture the vacant WBO light welterweight title.
Crawford has so far made two defences of his new title but it has been far from plain sailing. Despite being a heavy favourite against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Thomas Dulorme, both caused him problems and exposed the champion’s defensive shortcomings.
The fight against Postol represents the first real test to see if Crawford is to become boxing’s next big star and as already mentioned, he is odds-on with 32Red UK.
Despite stopping his opponents in 20 of his 28 victories, this fight represents a significant step up in quality. Crawford has yet to show enough punching power to suggest he can stop Postol and the American is evens to win the bout by decision or technical decision, although if you want to cover your basis a bit more you can get a healthy 4/7 for there to be over 10.5 rounds.
So with Burns now back to winning ways and also a world champion in the same division as Crawford, a rematch would definitely make financial sense.
If Crawford maintains his hopes of becoming a huge draw then he will need to unify the division so if he defeats Postol on the 23rd of July then that will leave just two belts remaining.