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Burns eager to test jaw ahead of Crawford bout

ESPN staff
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Ricky Burns is eager to test his chin after recently recovering from a broken jaw © Getty Images
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Ricky Burns has admitted he cannot wait to step back into the ring when he defends his WBO lightweight title against Terence Crawford.

Burns controversially defended his crown against Raymundo Beltran in September; the fight which was deemed a draw despite the Scot suffering a broken jaw in round two.

Questions remained over whether Burns would ever fight again, but since his recovery the 30-year-old has been ordered to face mandatory challenger Crawford.

Ahead of his February 8 bout with the undefeated American, Burns revealed he still has to overcome a mental barrier regarding his recent injury.

"I can't wait to get back into the ring. There was a lot of talk as to whether or not I'd fight again but everything seems to be going well," Burns told Advertiser Sport. "I've been in training for the last couple of weeks and the doctors have given me the all-clear to start sparring.

"I started with light punching and jogging. Now I'm doing full sprints and moving to full contact. There's no holding back and the next test is sparring.

"We'll start sparring off by bringing lighter guys up. But within two or three weeks we'll be looking to go for it. "I've already said to the guys that I'll probably just leave my chin open in my first sparring and get hit. It's more a mental thing.

"Once I know that it's fine and I'm not going to be bothered with it, I will be able to carry on with everything else."

Burns stated he was "gutted" to hear Top Rank promotions had opted to push for the fight with Crawford rather than a rematch with Beltran.

"I was a bit gutted when I heard it was Crawford," Burns said. "I think everybody knew the fight I wanted arranged was the re-match with Beltran.

"But the WBO forced the mandatory on me and his company, Top Rank Promotions, were pushing for Crawford rather than their other guy, Beltran."

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