Glenn McCrory believes Ricky Burns’ defeat on points to Dejan Zlaticanin in the WBC International lightweight title bout could signal the end of the fighter’s career.
Burns lost a split decision to the hard-hitting Montenegrin in Glasgow on Friday night after being caught with a shot to the chin inside the first 20 seconds of the fight.
The early punch knocked Burns to the canvas and it took the 31-year-old some time to clear his head and find his rhythm in the ring.
The lightweight, with 36 wins from 41 fights, finished strongly but it failed to make amends for the disastrous start at Braehead Arena as the partisan home crowd were stunned into silence.
It was Burns’ second successive defeat following his loss to Terence Crawford in March and has raised serious questions over his future in the sport.
“It looks like it has come to the end of the road for Ricky,” McCrory told Sky Sports. “And I don’t want to be too depressing because he can obviously still fight on.
“But that just proved that he is going backwards. He retreats against the ropes all the time now. He can’t help but go back to the ropes and cover up.”
McCrory was particularly critical of Burns’ start to the fight which ultimately cost him.
“There was no real excuse,” McCrory said. “In the first round, we were told, and he was told that, he had to be exciting and look the part. And he came out on his toes, bouncing and looking to make a statement.
“But he was instantly caught with a big shot and put down and very, very heavily. He wanted to make an impression and he paid the price very early on.”