Ricky Burns’ trainer Bills Nelson claims the WBO super-featherweight champ will go on to win world titles at a heavier weight.
Burns will look to build on a memorable 2010 when he makes the second defence of his WBO super-featherweight title against Ghana’s Joseph Laryea on March 12.
Laryea tasted success at the same venue, the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, in December when he beat Paul Appleby in a convincing points victory just before Burns triumphed against Andreas Evensen.
But Nelson believes Burns, refreshed after a Christmas break, will go on to greater things after beating the African.
“The guy is a capable fighter, but Paul Appleby is no Ricky Burns,” Nelson said.
“The guy has got a good jab but there is no finer jab in super-featherweight in the world than Ricky Burns’ and once we take Laryea’s jab away and take the centre ring, Ricky will go to town on him.
“We’ve still not seen the best of Ricky Burns. People say Ricky Burns isn’t a puncher but if you had a look at his last two opponents’ faces at the end of the 12th round, it showed he can punch because he marked them up badly and there was not a mark on him.”
Nelson added: “He makes the weight as comfortably as a boxer can make the weight.
“I’ve seen some boxers look terrible on the scales, you couldn’t say that about Ricky Burns. I believe he will win titles at lightweight as well.”
Promoter Frank Warren agreed with the assessment that there is more to come from the 27-year-old.
“The confidence levels are going up, the skills, the experience,” Warren said.
“For me the most outstanding performance from any British boxer last year, because of the level of opponent, was Ricky’s win over (Roman) Martinez.
“I thought James DeGale did really well in his eighth or ninth fight against Paul Smith, but Paul Smith wasn’t Martinez.
“Martinez was the world champion, ranked number one in his weight by a considerable distance, and what Ricky did that night was phenomenal.
“There is much more to come. You know he can dig deep, you know he’s not fazed by who he is fighting.”
The undercard will feature the likes of Appleby, Callum Johnson and Stephen Simmons, who will make his professional debut at cruiserweight after winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Nelson said: “I predict Stephen Simmons will win the British title within 12 fights.
“The guy has superstar status written all over him in my gym. I can’t believe the hand speed and the foot speed of this guy.
“I had an undefeated heavyweight up from England and the guy had to be pulled out after two rounds. It was frightening what he did to him.
“The guy came out the ring and said ‘I have never been in the ring with anyone anywhere near as good as him’.”