Blogs & Opinion

Johnny Nelson says Ricky Burns needs to regroup but should not have a rematch with Terence Crawford

Features Posted 3rd March 2014 view comments

I am going to be brutally honest and say that what we saw in Scotland on Saturday night was Ricky Burns' level.

Jim Watt summed it up perfectly when he reminded everybody that boxing is a hurtful game and a pain game and sadly, the bottom line is, I don't think Ricky can move up a level.

Parting company: Ricky Burns should stay well clear of Terence Crawford, says Johnny

Parting company: Ricky Burns should stay well clear of Terence Crawford, says Johnny

Yes he was a fantastic world champion and you can do nothing but admire his heart, his desire and his determination, but we all wanted to see if he had the skills that could mix it with the best.

Well, he couldn't and again if I am honest, there is no point in going for that rematch with the new WBO lightweight world champion, Terence Crawford.

It is one thing having the strength and will-to-win we have all seen from Ricky Burns but if he is going to be a world champion again, he needs to work on the technical side of things because he clearly came up short.

Johnny Nelson
Quotes of the week

Crawford was good and what he did to Ricky reminded of me of what Andre Ward did to Carl Froch a couple of years ago. He baffled him, out-skilled him and just slowly but surely took everything away from him. Have we ever really heard Carl calling for a rematch? Exactly.

You can understand why Ricky did that because after 11 world title fights - which few people do at any level these days - he wants to keep his name in the mix.

It is one thing having the strength and will-to-win we have all seen from Ricky but if he is going to be a world champion again, he needs to work on the technical side of things because he clearly came up short.


Burns himself was the first to admit it. People wondered why he was smiling going into the last round when he should have been going hell for leather. Well, he knew that he was out-classed, he knew that Crawford was way better and you can understand that Ricky was just relieved to have gone the 12 rounds.

If you give it your all and lose you just have to hold your hands up. That is what we saw from Ricky, that is why he was happy to give Crawford all the credit he deserved because he knew this kid was a level above.

We all wondered if Crawford would be that good, whether he could manage the championship distance and whether or not he can box out of America. Well, I think we all know how good this guy is.

I gave Ricky a share - not even a round - of the first two but from then on in we just saw the difference become clear. The Scottish fans are brilliant and they knew their hero was in for a hard night but would still be right behind him. They were but there was no booing, no jeering, nothing, because they soon realised there was nothing Ricky could do.

Crawford looks like the real deal, a real world-class fighter and although he was far from perfect, you can see him improving as he moves up a level.

The big question now is if Ricky can regroup and stay in the mix. Well, he will need to change because he needs to improve technically, no longer just focus on that strength and power.

We all want Ricky to stick around because he is such a nice guy, such a brave fighter and one who has done so well as a world champion. Whether he will or not remains to be seen. But a rematch with Crawford will only make things worse.

John Murray v John Simpson

It is good to see John Murray back and we always like watching John Simpson, so it was a surprise it lasted just two rounds. Apparently Murray has overcome the distractions and hassles that got in the way of his boxing and he looked hungry again, which is good. I've always liked his style and he is never in a dull fight, but the one thing that stuck out was the difference in size.

Murray looked a division above Simpson and although the bodyshots were good and he did well to get up after the first one, Murray didn't have to do much more. He had his measure in size alone. Now the talk is of fighting Anthony Crolla and that will make a cracking domestic fight, especially with Joe Gallagher's role!

Anthony Joshua v Hector Alfredo Avila

I think it's quite clear that Anthony Joshua is struggling for proper tests. Hector Alfredo Avila came with a decent reputation and we never find Argentinian's that easy, but this one was out of his depth.

Anthony did pick his shots well before ending it after the opening two minutes, but in my opinion he needs tougher tests now. Match-making is now the most important part of his progress. Be it a guy who is the same height and reach; a guy who is going to push him back and make him box on the back foot; or someone who is there to spoil, to survive, Joshua needs testing. He wants to get in the British top 10 but until he has had these varied opponents I don't think the like of Matt Skelton or Michael Sprott are what he can cope with... for now.

Anthony Ogogo v Greg O'Neill

I expected Anthony Ogogo to get through this of course and the one thing you can say it is part of the learning process. That is the most important thing and I hope Ogogo learns more and more.

Against Greg O'Neil he looked OK but the one thing that let him down was the way he came out all guns blazing. You can understand young fighters wanting to really put on a show but Anthony came out trying to finish it in the first two rounds. Trying too hard is understandable but at this level it is not all about winning, simply because they are expected to win, it's about how they do it.

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....


Niall Quinn

Quinn: Sanchez can be main man

Niall Quinn backed Alexis Sanchez to fill the goalscoring void left by the injured Olvier Giroud at Arsenal....

Kevin Phillips

Phillips: Giants have no excuses

Premier League sides have no excuse for going out to lower-league teams in cup ties, says Kevin Phillips....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....


Football League Bloggers

Andrews: Dons deserved it

Keith Andrews explains how a strong philosophy and shrewd signings saw MK Dons record their greatest win....

Stuart Barnes

Size doesn't matter

Stuart Barnes admires the All Blacks' emphatic win and salutes Argentina's fight with the Boks....

Phil Clarke

Clarke: Six into one

Phil Clarke looks at the contenders for the League Leader's Shield as we head into the sharp end of the season....

Phil Clarke

Rules of the gain?

Phil Clarke is worried some of the basic laws are being ignored just to make rugby league faster....

Barry Cowan

Murray to make move

Barry Cowan is backing Andy Murray to make the last eight in New York and test Novak Djokovic....


Alex Hammond

Royal week of racing

Alex Hammond shares tips for the Galway Festival and Glorious Goodwood - where Captain Cat is among her selections....


Alex Hammond

Eagle Top-ing it

Alex Hammond tips her winners for the weekend's racing, including the Queen Elizabeth Stakes....


Neal Foulds

Selby steel

New world champion Mark Selby's the master of match play, says Neal Foulds - but what's next for Ronnie?...


Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....


Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....


Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...


Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....


Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....


Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......


Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....


Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....


Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...


Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....


Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....