Burns welcomes underdog tag
Ricky Burns is happy to be an underdog again ahead of his world title defence against Terence Crawford.
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Burns, a two-weight world champion, has not suffered a defeat for seven years, but the bookies are still tipping Crawford to rip away his WBO lightweight title on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
The Scot accepts he was far from his best in his last fight, a controversial draw with Raymundo Beltran, which saw him floored in the eighth round and left with a badly broken jaw.
But he proved his doubters wrong in the past with wins over Roman Martinez and Michael Katsidis, and the Coatbridge fighter plans to shock Crawford in front of a packed out Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow.
"I've been made out to be the underdog in some of those other big fights as well. It's just taken more pressure off me," he told Sky Sports.
"Obviously fighting at home in front of 10,000 fans, that's big enough as it is.
"I always try and put that in the back of my mind. I know things are going well in the gym so I'm just hoping to go out there and put on a good performance because I'm due one, especially after the last couple of fights."
His jaw has healed well since the battle with Beltran and Burns insists there are no lingering mental scars after the fight.
The 30-year-old even urged his sparring partners to crank up the pressure as he prepared for Crawford.
"It's in the back of my mind now, especially the first week of sparring," said Burns.
"I was saying to my sparring partners, no messing about. If it's going to happen again, I would rather it happens in the gym rather than in a fight.
"It seems to be holding up until now, so fingers crossed it holds up."
Crawford is yet to suffer a defeat in 22 fights and the Omaha man has been hailed as the hottest talent in the division.
The past 12 months have been difficult for Burns, who also struggled in a stoppage win over Jose Gonzalez, but the champion remains confident he will keep his title.
"The main thing is I've still got that belt," he said.
"Terence Crawford obviously, first time fighting outside of America as well, technically he's very, very good, but as I said the sparring I've been getting has been great and I'm confident whatever is coming my way, I'll be able to deal with it."