Saturday, March 1, Terrence Crawford (22-0) will take on Ricky Burns (36-2-1) for Burns' WBO lightweight title. The bout will be held at the Scottish Exhibition Centre on Burns' turf in the United Kingdom and will be televised on Sky Sports.
For Crawford, the bout is an opportunity for him to win his first world title and take his career to another level. With victories over Breidis Prescott and Andrey Klimov, Top Rank, Crawford's promoter, is looking to make a push to make him an attraction in the U.S. market.
However, it now seems that Top Rank is willing to take a risk for a world title by sending Crawford outside of the U.S. to attempt to capture a title. Consequently, it will be interesting to view if Crawford if given a fair shake on the judges scorecards as it is evident that in the sport of boxing "home cooking" is always a concern for a visiting fighter.
Even more, Burns was given a draw when he fought Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1) in a fight that he suffered a broken jaw and was sent to the canvas in the 8th round with much of the boxing world feeling Beltran had won. Therefore, if the bout were to go to the scorecards, Crawford's team should most certainly be a bit worried if he will be given a decision of the judges' scorecards.
Nevertheless, credit must be given to Burns as he has successfully defended his title four times. His fight resume includes victories over former world titlist Michael Katsides and Ramon Martinez. Therefore, it is evident that Burns surely has the experience to pull off the victory against a high rising Crawford.
Odds wise, according to Bovada's sportsbook, Crawford is being deemed the favorite with odds on the money line set at -275 compared to +215 for Burns. Although, one must not look past Burns as Crawford has never set foot on foreign soil with the added pressure of capturing a world title.
Hence, the question will be whether Crawford will rise to the occasion or let down by all of the factors he is facing coming into the backyard of the defending champion.