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Crawford too good for Burns as Joshua impresses again

ESPN staff
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Ricky Burns gave as good as he got but it was not enough to hold on to his WBO lightweight title © PA Photos
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Ricky Burns had to give up his WBO lightweight belt as he was outclassed by the unbeaten Terence Crawford in their world title fight in Glasgow on Saturday, with the American taking victory by unanimous decision.

Burns was fighting for the first time since having his jaw broken by Raymundo Beltran in the second round of their controversial draw last September, but he showed no fear in getting back between the ropes.

Both fighters went off gung-ho in the opening round; Burns worked his jab with early success while Crawford caught the Scot on the eye with a trademark swift left hand.

Burns settled in the second and landed several quick combos on the American, much to the rowdy Glasgow crowd's delight.

They were back on their feet in the third round as Burns landed another heavy blow to Crawford - his corner had previously specified that speed kills and Burns did not hesitate in taking the advice.

However, Crawford hit back in round four and had the home favourite on the ropes following a barrage of shots. Burns looked to be struggling, but fought his way out of trouble like a champion would be expected to.

Crawford continued to unleash his ammunition during round five and had Burns worried on several occasions. However, Burns continued to defend resolutely but again found himself in trouble in round six. Crawford continued to utilise his speed, with which Burns simply could not cope with. The American found a flow with his punches and landed far too many shots for the crowd's liking.

That punishment continued in round seven as again Burns had treatment to his eye. Crawford targeted Burns' jaw and, when the Scot moved to defend his head, opened fire on the body - landing two notable shots in round eight.

For everything Burns threw at Crawford, the American responded with harder, more debilitating shots. Burns seemed to be feeling the effects of his jaw as Crawford inflicted further damage in rounds 10 and 11, but the champion was sent out with the instruction of giving all he had left in the tank for the final round.

Sadly, it was not to be for the Scot, who bravely defended yet another Crawford bombardment which had him on the ropes. Burns saw out the bell, but his deservedly had to give up his belt.

Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua wasted no time in securing his fifth career victory since turning professional, knocking out Hector Alfredo Avila out in the first round.

Avila is no stranger to British soil, having lost out to Dereck Chisora over nine rounds at Wembley Arena last year, but Joshua needed no way near as much time as 'Del Boy' to inflict the damage.

A flurry of body shots from Joshua was followed by a powerful left hook to his opponent's ear; Avila went down clutching the side of his head and failed to get up before the count.

Following the fight, Joshua confirmed that would be his last bout at six rounds - despite never taking more than two rounds to stop his opponents - and that he was ready to move up to eight.

John Murray scored a second round knockout victory against John Simpson following his return from a two-year lay-off. The first round appeared even but Murray unleashed a barrage of ammunition in the second and caught Simpson with three flourishing body shots. Simpson was floored on all three occasions - getting up successfully after the first two - but the referee was unconvinced third time around and handed Murray the win.

Scott Cardle remains undefeated at lightweight following a final round stoppage of Paul Appleby in their eight-round encounter. Cardle was cut over his left eye as Appleby looked to establish himself in an even fight. However, Cardle exploded in the final round and floored his opponent with the referee deeming Appleby unfit to continue.

Olympic middleweight bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo extended his own unbeaten record to five wins from five since turning professional, outscoring Greg O'Neil 60-54.

Anthony Joshua enjoyed his fifth knockout victory in five professional fights © Getty Images
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