Despite being out of action for six months, WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns is confident that his training is going to plan as he prepares to face one of the most promising fighters to come out of America for a while.
Burns hasn't fought since defending his belt in a controversial draw against Raymundo Beltran back in September and despite favouring a rematch with the Mexican, the WBO ordered him to face unbeaten American Terence Crawford, his mandatory challenger, which will take place in Glasgow on Saturday, March 1.
"It's going to be a very difficult fight for me; nobody knows that more than me. Technically he's very, very slick and very good. Obviously 16 knockouts from 22 fight means he can punch a bit as well," said Burns of his next opponent.
"My preparation has been going well and the variety in sparring that we've been bringing in has been great from south paws to orthodox fighters because he does like to switch hit a lot.
"We're happy with the way things have been going."
Burns broke his jaw in the fight with Beltran and it was feared that he could be forced to retire due to the seriousness of the injury, but he was cleared to continue his career after undergoing surgery and he confirmed to Ringside that the injury has changed the way he is preparing for his next fight.
"My attitude in that fight (Beltran) was survival mode and I had no option but to try and hold on."
"This is probably the only fight where I'm actually going to sit down and watch a couple of his fights. We've changed a few things in the training for this one, so I thought 'why not, we may as well change that as well!'
"When we starting sparring for this fight the broken jaw was the worst bit for me, but I've said all the way along that it's my grit and determination that gets me through, I refuse to give in, it's just not in me and fingers crossed that will go through me whole boxing career.
"When I know things are getting tough, when know I'm up against it that's when I'm going to be at my best."Tags: Ricky Burns , Terence Crawford , Burns-Crawford , Burns vs. Crawford