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Burns ordered to fight Crawford instead of Beltran


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FIGHT chiefs are refusing to sanction a rematch between world champion Ricky Burns and Mexican Raymundo Beltran.



Instead, the WBO have ordered Burns to make a mandatory defence against Terence Crawford after informing the Coatbridge fighter’s promoter Eddie Hearn he has just 30 days to agree a deal with the American’s camp.



Hearn has also been in discussions with WBA champion Richar Abril and IBF title-holder Miguel Vazquez about a possible unification bout. But he believes Beltran deserves a second crack at the title after breaking Burns’s jaw when the pair boxed a controversial draw in Glasgow two months ago.



However, that is now unlikely to happen after Hearn said: “I have received a letter from the WBO ordering us to begin negotiations with Crawford. They have given us 30 days to report back on negotiations.



“But the situation’s complex because Top Rank represent Beltran and Crawford. We made them an offer which Beltran’s team were happy with but they were not.



“I am also in talks with Vazquez and Abril regarding a unification bout that would supersede a mandatory defence. But Top Rank are trying to force our hand and they have made their position very clear they want Ricky to fight Crawford.



“If it has to be Crawford, then I am very confident I could bring that fight to Scotland.



“But I believe the fight everyone wants to see is Beltran – it is the right fight for boxing after what happened last time and I have asked the WBO for a voluntary defence in February.”



Burns resumed light training last month after undergoing surgery to fit a temporary plate in his jaw.

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