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Burns out to silence doubters

WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns admitted he had a point to prove as the date of his mandatory defence against Terence Crawford was set for March 1.

Matchroom Sports has announced that the world title fight will take place at the SECC in Glasgow.

Crawford is unbeaten in his 22 professional bouts, 16 of which he has won by knockouts.

Burns, who will be making his fifth defence, has resumed full training after recovering from surgery on the broken jaw he suffered early in his controversial defence against Raymundo Beltran in September, which ended in a draw.

In his previous defence, Burns was behind on the scorecard against Jose Gonzalez but kept his title when his opponent retired with a broken hand.

The 30-year-old, said: "I have a point to prove. I've had two bad performances, we've made a few changes and some adjustments, we're going to be doing things differently, and fingers crossed that we see a new Ricky Burns on March 1.

"As soon as the jaw injury happened against Beltran I went into survival mode. Everybody knew that something was wrong, even if they didn't know exactly what it was. When the final bell went I wasn't caring about the decision, I just knew that I had done damage.

"The first couple of months after the operation were a nightmare. They told me to watch what I was eating and I could hardly open my mouth, I couldn't speak.

"Everybody is writing me off again with Terence but that doesn't bother me, I like being the underdog and I can't wait to get back out there again in front of another great Glasgow crowd."

Crawford has never fought outside the United States and the 26-year-old is determined to take the belt back to Omaha.

He said: "I hope Burns is ready to walk to hell and back. I'm going to fight with all my heart. I have the determination and the skill to win the world title and bring it home."

The Coatbridge fighter's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has declared Crawford as the biggest test yet for his boxer.

"This is a must-win fight for Ricky and perhaps the toughest of his incredible career," Hearn said.

"Ricky is more determined than I've ever seen him and to have that frame after the injury that he suffered during the Beltran fight is testament to the type of character and fighter he is.

"Crawford is hot property in the States but we managed to bring him here, out of his comfort zone, and right now Ricky needs the people of Scotland behind him more than ever. March 1 will be a special night at the SECC, the latest chapter of the remarkable Ricky Burns story."

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