Ricky Burns will defend the WBO lightweight title against mandatory challenger Terence Crawford in Glasgow this coming February. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing tweeted yesterday that his company and Crawford's promoters at Top Rank have agreed to terms on the bout, avoiding a purse bid.
Delighted to confirm we have agreed terms with @trboxing for @ricksterko to face @budcrawford402 in Glasgow in February -date confirmed soon— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) December 8, 2013
Hearn and Matchroom preferred to do a rematch with Raymundo Beltran, feeling that was an easier sell in Scotland after their first bout ended in controversial scores this past September. But Top Rank insisted on the fight with Crawford, which would have had to happen sooner than later anyway. It's a mandatory fight and the WBO had a purse bid ready to go.
Burns (36-2-1, 11 KO) may go into this fight the underdog, even though he's the defending titlist and will have home advantage. Crawford (22-0, 16 KO) is a top prospect and emerging contender with a lot of talent, but Burns will be his toughest test to date, and going on the road isn't easy, either. He went 3-0 on HBO this year, beating Breidis Prescott, Alejandro Sanabria, and Andrey Klimov.
Who do you think takes this one?