Briton Ricky Burns lost his WBO world lightweight title on Saturday, suffering a points defeat to American Terence Crawford. The judges gave a unanimous verdict after the 12 rounds in Glasgow. Burns, a world champion since 2010, was second best for much of the contest and few were surprised by the decision.
The 30-year-old from Coatbridge could not be faulted for heart or bravery in front of a 10,000 sell-out crowd. However, this time he came up short against the 26-year-old unbeaten American, who was simply too fast and too slick and well worth the judges' scorecards which showed 116- 112, 117-111 and 116-112 in his favour.
Promoter Eddie Hearn admitted beforehand that Burns, unbeaten in seven years, would have to find his top form if he was to retain his belt.
He was struggling against Jose Gonzalez last May until the Puerto Rican quit and against Ray Beltran, in September, he controversially earned a draw albeit after having his jaw broken in the second round.
There was little controversy about this outcome with Burns admitting afterwards that the better man won.
"It was a tricky fight, very awkward," the Scot told Sky Sports. "I found it hard to get my shots off. He was always playing with distance. The best man won on the night. But I'll be back.
"I took a good body shot but I managed to recover. I took a head shot. I proved I could take it.
"The better man won on the night. He boxed well - good on him.
"I was finding it hard. He was in and out of distance all night. You can see why he's being touted as the next big thing in America.
"There's some big fights out there for me over here as well, but the first choice for me is to get the rematch."
Crawford seemed well up for a rematch with the Scot.
"Oh yeah," he said after the final bell. "Talk to my promoter and we'll do it again."
He added: "We knew Ricky had nice jab so we were looking to throw him off his jab and make him reach.
"We trained real hard for this fight - just like for any fight. I wasn't worried about the rounds."
Tags: Ricky Burns , Terence Crawford , Burns-Crawford , Burns vs. Crawford