sport

Burns ready to resume Sparring

Ricky Burns has been given the all-clear by doctors to resume sparring after undergoing surgery on his broken jaw.

The WBO lightweight world champion suffered the agonising fracture during his controversial draw with Raymundo Beltran in Glasgow in September.

But he has now been told he can return to the ring for full-contact training as he prepares to defend his belt against unbeaten American Terence Crawford.

"The doctors have given me the all clear," Burns told BBC Scotland. "Obviously I won't know how the jaw will react until it gets hit but I'm now focused on getting into camp."

Glasgow again will be the host city when Burns faces Crawford in February, although the precise venue and date have yet to be confirmed.

Burns added: "As soon as we get the date, we'll know when to start sparring so we can test my jaw. The longer I can leave it the better and I won't be happy until my jaw's been hit a couple of times.

"Sparring-wise, things won't change, although we'll maybe start off with some lighter guys for the first week.

"But the hard sparring five or six weeks before the fight will be the same as always. There will be no messing about.

"There are a few dates available and we should find out in the next couple of weeks."

Burns had vowed to give Beltran a rematch after the judges allowed him to keep hold of his title in spite of a dominant display by the Mexican.

But the WBO stepped in to insist the Coatbridge fighter take on their mandatory challenger Crawford.

The 26-year-old is four years younger than Burns and has won all 22 of his contests so far, including 16 knock-outs.

"I've seen a couple of his fights and he is very good," said Burns of his next opponent.

"Everybody's saying this will be my toughest fight to date, a lot of people are saying I'm going to be the underdog but that's the way I like it.

"I'm just going to go out there and do what I do.

"People have said some of the other guys I've fought would wipe the floor with me but I seem to rise to the occasion."