Crolla vs Burns: The Panel of experts make their pre-fight predictions

6 October 2017, 11:56

Anthony Crolla faces Ricky Burns in a must-win British battle and we asked The Panel to make their pre-fight predictions.

Britain's lightweight rivals are battling to keep their world title ambitions alive this Saturday night in Manchester, live on Sky Sports Action at 7pm.

But who will emerge victorious? There are plenty of reasons to argue for either Crolla or Burns, so we asked The Panel of experts to predict how the fight will unfold...

Tony Bellew

Their styles will gel fantastically but it's just how much either have got left. I don't think Crolla can out-last Burns, but I don't know if Burns can match Crolla's pace. Ricky is definitely a better fighter. But just what has he got left? I was there when he fought Omar Figueroa and he took a lot - and I mean a lot - of shots in that fight.

I do wish them both well, they are two of the nicest guys I have met in professional boxing and no one really wants to see either one lose. I just can't split them, so I am going for a draw. And I am hoping for a draw.

Johnny Nelson

I think Ricky Burns is more shop-worn than Anthony Crolla, who still has a lot more to offer and just came up against one of the best and fell short. Burns is going to be fit and on it, but it's going to be about talent. At this stage of their careers, Crolla is the more talented fighter.

Crolla wins on points. The first part of the fight will go to Burns, then Crolla will take over from the fifth round onwards. That Boxing ability will start to come through for Crolla.

Kevin Mitchell

Not sitting on the fence, I'll be honest - Burns is a three-weight world champ, mixed with the best pound-for-pound best.

Crolla has fought and won a world title but I don't believe he is a top world-class fighter, but then Burns is more battle-worn and has more miles on the clock. Burns is someone who has fought much longer at higher level.

Burns wins on points, he has enough in the tank. He is unbelievable in the gym but then it is different when you get in the ring.

David Coldwell

This is going to be a great fight, but it's not that simple picking this one! Stylistically and where they are in their careers, will be crucial, but when you think of the fights Ricky Burns has had, he is a tough, tough man, but I just see Crolla as that little bit fresher.

But Crolla is going to struggle on the end of Ricky's long arms and his jab - which is very good and very underrated - and I am sure they will try and draw that jab, step in and work inside. But when they get in the ring, Ricky will be much, much bigger. It goes back-and-forth but I am leaning towards Crolla, on points, his engine taking it down the stretch.

Conor Benn

I think this is going to be a very entertaining fight. Of course I know Ricky well but his work rate is unbelievable.

Both of these are tough, tough fighters and I like them both, but that engine and because he still has that fire, I am going for Ricky with a late stoppage, around the eighth.

Luke Campbell

It's a good clash of styles, both got experience and both have fought at the top level, it will be a great fight. I know them both personally, they are both great role models and good people.

Crolla probably will win and on points, you are not stopping Ricky Burns, he is made of something else, extremely tough guy.

John Murray

This will be a great fight, one for the purists. They've both been in tough fights recently, but Crolla more than Burns with those two against Linares, and going into this one, it will make all the difference.

Burns is sound, solid and naturally the bigger man and that is likely to work in his favour, and I actually expect Ricky to be the better boxer. But just because he has been that little bit more active, I am going for Crolla to take over. I can't see either of them stopping the other, so Crolla takes it on points.

Matthew Macklin

Really close fight that could go either way, a genuine 50/50. I lean towards Anthony Crolla, both guys are probably just past the best, not shot, but Crolla is the fresher of the two so I lean towards him.

It will be a good fight, a good pace and high skill level. Maybe not quite the intensity as it would have been a few years back, both have a lot of miles on the clock. Will go twelve rounds.

Derry Mathews

It's going to be a 'Fight of the Year' contender as both styles will gel. I'm a little on the fence, because it's all about how much each fighter has got left. But it's a top fight and both lads deserve a lot of credit.

I'm going for a draw. I think Ricky is going to edge the exchanges in the early rounds, then Crolla will come through a few scares, and the crowd will get him up to come back in the second half of the fight.

Watch Anthony Crolla against Ricky Burns, Sam Eggington faces Mohamed Mimoune, Robbie Barrett battles Lewis Ritson and Conor Benn against Nathan Clarke from 7pm on Sky Sports Action.

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