sport

Crawford tipped to shine

Ricky Burns' fans will be "amazed" by the talent of Terence Crawford in Saturday's WBO lightweight title fight at the SECC in Glasgow.

The Coatbridge champion, 30, is making the fifth defence of his title and will be supported by the vast majority of the 10,000 sell-out crowd but goes into the fight as the underdog against the 26-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska who is unbeaten in 22 fights.

His trainer Brian McIntyre, speaking at the head-to-head press conference in a Glasgow hotel, said that the fight fans will witness in Crawford a fighter who is on his way to the very top of his trade.

He said: "I look at Ricky and I see what he is capable of and I look at Terence, and I see what Terence is capable of, and I believe Terence is way better and he is a couple of years from his peak.

"In two years, he will be like Floyd Mayweather.

"You have to see this kid fight.

"You see him on tape, you see him on YouTube but when you see him yourself, you will be amazed. Trust me."

McIntyre is confident that his man will not be fazed by fighting in the Scot's home patch in front of a partisan crowd.

"It won't mean anything," he said.

"When Terence made the decision to come over here and fight, he had already thought about that.

"Nobody made Terence come over here. Nobody held a gun to his head.

"He made the decision to come over here because that was something that he wants to do as a man.

"He knows what is stacked up against him. The 10,000 fans, the judges, the promoter, all of that is stacked against him.

"But he knows what he got inside himself and you have to respect a man for making a decision like that."

Burns's trainer, Billy Nelson, is not impressed by the confident vibes emanating from Crawford and his camp.

"He (Crawford) can be as cocky and confident as he likes," he said.

"I think he is just your brash, typical American. Their bark is worse than their bite.

"All that doesn't impress me.

"It is about what he does in the ring and he hasn't fought anybody who is anywhere near as good as Ricky Burns.

"We have a game plan and we won't deviate from it and if Ricky fights the way he has sparred, there will be only one winner, believe me.

"If he (Crawford) thought it was a long flight coming here, it will be an even longer flight going home after being comprehensively beaten."

As usual, Burns adopted a circumspect approach to the task ahead of him, saying: "This is going to be my hardest fight.

"I know I say that before every fight but he is a very, very good fighter and we know what we are up against.

"This is going to be a difficult night's work.

"He switch hits, he has very quick hands and with 16 knock-outs from 22 fights, he can punch as well.

"That is why we got the quality of sparring partners that we got, so fingers crossed I have done enough to get the win."

However, if Crawford throws his punches on Saturday as reluctantly as he has answered questions in his short time in Glasgow then Burns will be back in his dressing room with his belt without having worked up a sweat.

The most innocuous question was straight-batted in almost monosyllabic fashion, the most expansive answer coming when asked about the atmosphere he is likely to encounter.

He said: "I expect them to be booing or whatever but it is not going to hurt me."