Burns: I will be back
Ricky Burns vowed to bounce back at world title level and fight on for another 10 years after losing his WBO lightweight belt to unbeaten American Terence Crawford.
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The 30-year-old suffered his first defeat in 10 world title fights after a unanimous points decision loss in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at the SECC in Glasgow.
Two judges scored the fight 116-112 in the Omaha fighter's favour and the other gave a wider margin of 117-111 to the challenger.
Burns edged the first couple of rounds but never put the slick Crawford under serious pressure and his attempts to go for a 12th-round knockout were turned on their head as the American finished the fight in control.
Burns, who suffered the third defeat of his 40-fight career, had struggled in his previous two defences despite holding on to the belt. He beat Jose Gonzales when his opponent withdrew with a broken hand and secured a controversial draw against Raymundo Beltran despite battling on with a broken jaw for the vast majority of the fight.
But the Scot dismissed suggestions he had peaked as he recognised the class of the highly-rated Crawford. And Burns set his sights on winning another world title three and a half years after assuming the mantle of champion when he shocked previously unbeaten super-featherweight Roman Martinez.
The Coatbridge fighter said: "Boxing is all I have ever wanted to do and I will be back. This is just a setback for me. There are some big fights out there for me. My hunger to box is the same, whether I was world champion or not, my attitude towards it doesn't change at all.
"I've got another good 10 years in me. I'm 31 in April and, easy, another 10 years. The support I got was unbelievable and I'll definitely be back.
"Domestically there are some big fights out there but the way I would like to go, if we don't get a rematch with Terence, then I would like to go chasing some of the other world titles."
Promoter Eddie Hearn indicated he would seek other challenges that Burns was better placed to deal with stylistically rather than push for a rematch.
And the deposed champion admitted himself he had found switch-hitter Crawford difficult to box.
Burns, who declared his jaw had not been a problem, said: "I did think it was a lot closer than some of the judges had it. I knew it was going to go against me because of what happened in the last fight.
"I felt I was letting him steal some of the rounds and letting him outwork me. Every time I was going to throw he was just stepping out of distance and looking for counters. When someone is doing that, and his movement is so good, it's hard to fight.
"The better man won on the night.
"I felt sometimes I was forcing it and that's when I was getting caught with stupid punches. If the rematch happened I would try to be a bit busier, but whenever I got on the inside the ref was just splitting us up."
Crawford was only slightly more talkative than his pre-match interviews but he did declare himself a fan of the atmosphere in the SECC.
"It was tremendous out there," the 26-year-old said. "He had a lot of support out there and that's what it's all about. I had people back home cheering me on."