Ricky Burns eager to defend title after recovering from jaw break

Interview - Scotland's world boxing champion Ricky Burns

Scotland's Ricky Burns insists he has no concerns over his jaw ahead of his WBO world lightweight title defence against Terence Crawford.

Coatbridge fighter Burns has not fought since breaking his jaw in a draw with Raymundo Beltran in September.

But the 30-year-old is in confident mood ahead of his fifth title defence on 1 March at Glasgow's SECC.

"I know my jaw's OK. I just can't wait to climb back through those ropes," he told BBC Scotland.

American mandatory challenger Crawford, 26, is unbeaten in his 22 bouts and has won 16 of his fights by knockout.

Prior to the controversial draw with Beltran, the 30-year-old Burns had an unconvincing win against Puerto Rico's Jose Gonzalez in May.

Burns said he had a quiet Christmas, his first as a father.

"We trained right through and we knew this fight was just around the corner," he told BBC Scotland.

"Training has been going well and we've been training hard for the past six weeks. We started sparring last week as well. Just under seven weeks to go and I can't wait.

"The first one was always the worry for me. It was always in the back of my head about what if my jaw was to go again.

"But it's been tested and I know my jaw's okay. Fingers crossed, we have no accidents.

"The pain in my jaw, on the night, was unbelievable. Let's hope there's no repeat.

"It's going to be a very tough fight; he's very good technically. We're expecting a hard night's work.

"As I said, training's been going well and we made a few adjustments to the way we were going to train for this fight.

"So let's hope I can go out there and pull it off. I'm always prepared for a hard 12 rounds. Whatever happens on the night, I'm going to be ready for it."

Promoter Eddie Hearn described Crawford as a "golden boy" of boxing in that division who will provide a stern test for Burns.

"He's highly rated and this is the toughest fight of Ricky Burns's career," said Hearn. "It's a big fight for Ricky as he comes back from that potentially career-threatening injury.

"You're taking painful shots to the jaw at all times, but it's healed and we've had top advice from the specialists. It's a tough sport, but he's cleared to fight and he'll go and do it. He's an incredible man.

"I remember sitting in the hospital room with him after the fight and he was in a huge amount of pain. I wasn't sure he'd ever fight again, but something within him wants to do it again.

"He's a warrior and I think Scotland should be really proud and 1 March is going to be a huge night."

Top Stories