Kevin Mitchell backs sparring partner Ricky Burns to defeat Terence Crawford

Last Updated: 26/02/14 5:02pm

Mitchell: is backing his friend to come up trumps next weekend

Kevin Mitchell told Ringside he's backing Ricky Burns to do the job against Terence Crawford.

WBO lightweight champion Burns, who has been out of action for six months after breaking his jaw against Raymundo Beltran back in September, will fight promising young American Crawford in Glasgow next weekend.

And despite the threat of ring-rust, sparring partner and world title challenger Mitchell is confident his friend will be successful in the mandatory defence.

"I've been sparring up with Ricky Burns and we've been doing a lot of rounds together. He's very fit, in great shape and looking good," Mitchell told Ringside.

"To be fair he's at the best I've been with him in the gym; he's very strong, very fit, he knows this kid is slippery, he knows he's a great boxer and though they say he's not a big puncher, Ricky and I have spoken about the fact that you don't want to get hit by this kid because if he hits you properly he will hurt you."

Rocky

Burns was ordered to take on Crawford - who is unbeaten in 22 fights - after his preferred rematch with Beltran was refused.

But Mitchell is backing Burns to do the business despite his recent wobbles in the ring and the hype surrounding the American challenger.

"Ricky had two rocky fights and didn't perform but with fighters we're only human and you don't perform every time out," he said.

"Don't get me wrong, as a two-weight world champion I think he's got nine defensives in there, he's doing really well and he's got what it takes to beat this kid.

"I'm backing him, I've worked with him, he's a friend of mine and I shared the ring with him on a number of occasions in the gym and obviously on fight night but I fancy him to do the job, overworking him and giving him a good seeing to."