An intriguing battle of former world champions will take place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday night as Ricky Burns and Anthony Crolla will do battle in a twelve round bout fought in the 135lb. Lightweight division. Burns, who will enter the fight with a record of 41-6-1, with 14 Knockouts has had an illustrious career in which he has won world championships from the 130lb. Jr. Lightweight division to the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division.
Burns first became a world champion in September 2010, winning the WBO Jr. Lightweight world championship with a twelve round unanimous decision over Roman Martinez after previously holding the Commonwealth Jr. Lightweight championship in his career. In his last fight in April of this year, Burns lost the WBA Jr. Welterweight world championship in a unification bout with then IBO/IBF world champion Julius Indongo via twelve round unanimous decision.
Burns appeared to be tactically outgunned in the bout against Indongo as Indongo, who was an underdog prior to the encounter consistently outworked Burns and landed the harder punches throughout the fight. Although the always “Game” Burns put forth a determined effort in defeat some might wonder after forty-eight fights in a sixteen year professional career what Ricky Burns has left to give as a fighter.
The answer might come in this fight against former Lightweight world champion Anthony Crolla. Crolla, a veteran of forty professional fights in his own right will enter this bout with a record of 31-6-3, with 13 Knockouts. Crolla won the WBA Lightweight world championship in November 2015 by scoring a fifth round knockout over Darleys Perez in their second of two fights. Crolla would go on to successfully defend the title in May of last year with a seventh round knockout over Ismael Barroso.
Crollla however, would lose the championship in his second title defense to Jorge Linares in September of last year. Crolla would make an unsuccessful attempt to regain the title in his rematch with Linares in March of this year. Both losses to Linares, two twelve round unanimous decisions have led Crolla to this showdown with Ricky Burns.
This is the definition of a crossroads fight as both fighters are coming off setbacks and one might argue that a loss for either at this stage in their respective careers could signal the end of either fighter’s career. A matchup between two world-class boxers where one could make an argument for either fighter having an edge. In this observer’s eyes, this fight will center on who can take the initiative early on. An interesting question however, will be if either Burns or Crolla are able to get the upper hand early in the fight whether that fighter will be able to sustain their momentum as the bout moves into the middle and late rounds.
Although both fighters are capable of getting an opponent out of there, stylistically it is logical to assume that this could be a closely fought tactical Boxing match. For the winner could be the potential to reemerge in the discussion for a possible opportunity at a world championship in 2018. For the fighter who does not get his hand raised, this fight could be the end of his career. A scenario where both fighters are in a “Must Win “ scenario. Such scenarios have in the past produced very competitive and compelling battles. Whether or not Ricky Burns vs. Anthony Crolla proves to be one of those fights remains to be seen.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Burns vs. Crolla takes place tomorrow (Saturday, October 7th) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The bout can be seen in the United States on AWE: A Wealth of Entertainment beginning at 2PM ET/11AM PT on both cable/satellite providers as well as AWE’s OTT apps available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. For more information about AWE and to check where you can watch AWE in your area via cable/satellite please visit: www.awetv.com. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the bout can be seen on Sky Sports Action beginning at 7PM (Local UK Time.) The fight will also be shown on Sky Sports Main Event (Formerly Sky Sports 1) beginning at 10PM (Local UK Time.) For more information about Sky Sports please visit: www.skysports.com. Check your listings internationally.
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