Ricky Burns adds to coaching team as Crawford fight is confirmed

Ricky Burns
Ricky Burns will fight Terence Crawford in Glasgow.SNS Group

Ricky Burns has added a strength and conditioning trainer to his team after confirming he will defend his WBO lightweight title against American Terence Crawford.

Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the fight which is expected to take place at Glasgow's Hydro on February 8.

Burns retained his crown in controversial circumstances after his fight with Mexican challenger Raymundo Beltran at Glasgow's SECC was ruled as a draw.

The Coatbridge fighter sustained a broken jaw early in the fight and was knocked down in the eighth round.

And ahead of his bout with the Nebraskan, strength and conditioning trainer Matthew Smillie, who is also from Coatbridge, has joined the Burns camp.

Burns' trainer Billy Nelson told STV: “Crawford is a very good fighter so it’ll be a real test for Ricky.

“Ricky been in the gym for a few weeks and looks in good shape. At Ricky’s request we brought in a strength and conditioning trainer, Matthew Smiley and we believe this will benefit Ricky greatly.

“In terms of the jaw, there’s not been full contact training but that will happen in the next few weeks. We fully expect Ricky to be ready for the fight.”

The Scot had said he was happy to take part in a rematch with Beltran but the WBO stepped in to rule Burns must take on mandatory challenger Crawford first.

Burns' manager Alex Morrison said: “In terms of fighting Crawford, the WBO effectively ordered us and said Crawford is the mandatory challenger and that is why a rematch with Beltran couldn't take place.

“We are really pleased the fight is going to take place in Glasgow and the Hydro holds over 10,000 so it should be a really exciting night.”

Crawford is unbeaten having won all 22 fights with 16 KOs. He beat Andrey Klimov of Russia in Florida in October.

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