The announcement by Bob Arum, the chief executive of Top Rank who promote Crawford, earlier this week took Hearn by surprise, given that it was the first he had heard of it.
Hearn has stressed that he will not be bullied into agreeing to the fight - which would take place in the United States - without him being richly compensated for relinquishing home advantage.
Crawford, 26, from Nebraska, is undefeated in 22 contests and is, Hearn admits, capable of testing Burns' desire to hold on to his belt in the wake of unconvincing performances against Jose Gonzalez and Ray Beltran.
But even if Hearn was agreeable to Burns fighting outside his homeland, he pointed out that the 30-year-old Coatbridge boxer will not be fit to resume his career until the middle of February at the earliest after suffering a broken jaw against the Mexican Beltran last month
Hearn said: "Crawford is with Top Rank, the same as Beltran, and we have already written to Arum to say that we accept that Beltran probably won and we think he should be given a rematch as it's the right thing to do, morally as much as anything.
"But Crawford will be on [the telephone] to Top Rank saying that he is next in line as the mandatory challenger and as they probably have more interest in him than they do Beltran, they'll try to force the situation. But, for me, commercially Beltran is a bigger fight and more relevant, and we are liaising with the broadcaster, HBO in an effort to try to make a rematch.
"I was interested to learn that Bob Arum announced at a press conference that Ricky will fight Crawford on Burns Night which was very nice of him. He did make us an offer which we have rejected, and, because of the purse bid split, we would be favourites to get that fight for Scotland anyway.
"Sometimes you get an offer that you really can't turn down. But it's my job to ensure that if Ricky fights in America the money is life-changing and the offer we got is nowhere near that."