Terence “Bud” Crawford is going to get his world title fight. But it’ll come in Scotland.
Omaha’s top-ranked lightweight (22-0, 16 knockouts) will face champion Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11 KOs) for the World Boxing Organization title in early 2014 after promoters for the boxers reached a deal over the weekend.
The fight will take place in Burns’ native Scotland on either Feb. 8 or Feb. 22.
Crawford said Monday he had no problem fighting overseas in his first world championship bout.
“It’s about getting the shot,” he said. “That’s why I took it.”
Crawford became the mandatory challenger for the title after three impressive victories on HBO this year. He posted one-sided unanimous decisions over junior welterweight Breidis Prescott and previously unbeaten Andrey Klimov, and he scored a sixth-round knockout of Alejandro Sanabria.
Burns hasn’t lost a fight since 2007 and has since claimed WBO titles in two different weight classes. His last bout, with Raymundo Beltran in September, ended in a disputed draw.
The champion suffered a broken jaw and was knocked down in the championship fight. Many felt Beltran deserved the decision, and there was talk of a rematch. Crawford’s status halted that.
“I was never concerned,” he said. “They already got word that I was the mandatory so he had to fight me or vacate the title. That wasn’t a concern.”
Due to the winter weather, Crawford said he’ll hold his training camp leading up to the bout in Las Vegas. When he’ll open camp will be determined by the actual fight date, he added.
The Burns-Beltran bout was held in Glasgow, Scotland, which has been a regular site for the championship fights involving Burns in recent years. Knowing how that fight was scored, Crawford said he intends to leave nothing to chance when he makes his way overseas.
“I’ll be working towards not leaving it in the judges’ hands,” he said. “I know how they are over there.
“I think it motivates me even more knowing that I’ve got to go over there and really do something spectacular to take the belt from him. It’ll motivate me more to know it’s a big possibility that I could get cheated. I’ve got to be on my A game and go take care of business.”