Burns, 30, had been bidding to bring Ray Beltran back to the UK for a second fight after the pair fought out a draw earlier this year, but as WBN exclusively revealed, the rematch was a non-starter from the outset.
Crawford had initially been pencilled in for a high-profile US title challenge against Burns at Madison Square Garden next month, although the Coatbridge man suffered a broken jaw against Beltran scuppering the contest.
It’s now been stipulated that the Scot has to begin negotiations with the dangerous and undefeated Crawford, who believes Burns would have backed out of the fight had the WBO not made their recent decision.
“I don’t know whether any offer has been made to Burns right now, but I think if the WBO hadn’t ordered Burns to defend against me then he wouldn’t want to fight me,” Crawford told World Boxing News.
“Everybody knows that Beltran won that fight against Burns, but now I will hopefully get my chance to take his title.”
The 26 year-old from Nebraska, known as ‘The Hunter,’ has an eye-catching 22-0 record with 16 stoppages since turning pro in 2008 and 10 of those have come in the first two rounds alone.
It may not be seen as ideal for Burns to go up against a big-hitter like Crawford so soon after having titanium plates fitted in his jaw and promoter Eddie Hearn may look for a warm-up fight in the interim.
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