THE big domestic dust up this weekend takes place in Manchester where Ricky Burns will take on Anthony Crolla at lightweight.
Burns (41-6-1, 14KOs) is the only Scot to be a three-weight world champion (lightweight, super-lightweight and super-featherweight) and has had 12 world-title fights.
The 34 year-old showed signs that he might be slowing down in his last fight when he was outpointed by the awkward Julius Indongo.
Crolla, the younger fighter by four years, enjoys home advantage in Manchester. That fact could prove crucial if it comes down to the scorecards, as expected.
Boxing has seemingly been dogged by problems with bad scoring ever since the sport began, so let’s hope there’s nothing dodgy about whoever gets the decision should it go to points.
Given that the two protaganists share the same promoter (fast-talking Eddie Hearn) it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a rematch – assuming the fight is close, competitive and/or controversial.
I would certainly like to have the draw onside as I can see this scrap as being all of the above.
Burns will come forward and take the fight to Crolla but for me the Mancunian has the faster fists and better variety of shot. He lost his last two fights against classy world-level operator Jorge Linares. No disgrace there, and his two wins before that against the dangerous Ismael Barroso and Darleys Perez were, for me, his best performances to date.
Given that both fighters are durable and both lack concussive power (Burns 29 per cent KO and Crolla 33 per cent) I expect this to go to the cards and Crolla to get the nod,
As mentioned earlier I want the draw on my side – a small stake could reap a big reward.
Buy the draw with Spreadex at 4.4. The market makes up at 100 for the draw- so the upside is significant.
I’d also back Crolla to win on points in what could prove a thrilling domestic dust up.