Classy Crawford bests Burns to claim WBO title
American Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KO’s) won the WBO lightweight championship by a 12 unanimous decision against Scotland's Ricky Burns (36-3-1, 11 KO’s) on Saturday night by scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 115-112 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
Crawford had come across the pond with a big reputation and backed by Top Rank, and after a cagey opening three minutes he began to show off his talents as the rounds wore on.
Constantly switching from orthodox to southpaw, the 26-year-old consistently landed while Burns was unable to find his range.
Burns was backed up against the ropes in the fourth round and blood began to trickle from his nose in the seventh, by which time it was already looking like a tall order to come back.
He was fast off his stool at the start of the ninth, showing some commitment to his attacks to lift his compatriots watching on. However, the intent soon disappeared, with Crawford continuing to dominate with slick combinations.
In the last it seemed Crawford could force an early finish, though he was happy to wait for the final bell and accept a landslide victory after going the championship distance for the first time.
On the undercard, Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua dismissed the unconvincing challenge of 38-year-old Argentine Hector Avila to record his fifth win in as many professional fights.
Londoner Joshua, sporting tartan, was warmly received by the Glasgow fans and rewarded them with a facile first-round knockout.
Anthony Ogogo also maintained his unbeaten record with victory against Greg O'Neil, the Olympic bronze medallist winning every round of their six-round middleweight encounter.
John Murray stopped former British and Commonwealth champion John Simpson in the second round of their lightweight fight while in the same division Paul Appleby lost to Scott Cardle, who took his record to 14 consecutive wins by stopping his opponent in the eighth round.
Glasgow super-featherweight Michael Roberts stretched his unbeaten record to 14 after he withstood some crunching shots from Frenchman Romain Peker to emerge a 59-55 winner.
On his professional debut, Glaswegian Ryan Smith outpointed Ibrar Riyaz from Reading in a four-rounder at lightweight.