Ricky Burns wants to face the Best of British

Paul Hampton

KO Boxing Forum

The night that Ricky Burns beat Roman Martinez to capture his first world title now feels a long time ago. His stock with British fans rose significantly following that win, and the subsequent run of results against fighters like Michael Katsidis, Paulus Moses, and Kevin Mitchell were deemed impressive victories for the like Scot.

However warning signs started to go off during his title defence against Jose Gonzalez. Now, a win is a win but, he was losing on all three scorecards when Gonzalez pulled out due to an injury and was lucky to keep hold of his title in the next fight. Raymundo Beltran can consider himself unlucky to have been on the receiving end of somewhat strange scorecards as he left Glasgow with a draw.

After two lucky escapes, you would have thought that Burns and his promoters Matchroom might have taken an easier fight. Just to mentally repair any damage from the previous two bouts, but instead Terence Crawford was chosen and he showed why he is considered one of the worlds best boxers. There were calls after this fight for Burns to retire, after all he had suffered a horrible broken jaw in the fight against Beltran, was a two time world champion. What else did he have to prove?

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Well, he had to prove to the fans that he could still fight at world level, and prove it he did. In his last fight he went over to America to fight on an Al Haymon PBC card against Omar Figueroa JR. While many thought he won, or at least had it close, Ricky suffered defeat but did show the grit and determination that showed boxing fans he still had something to offer the sport.

But what next? Well he will no doubt be wanting to get back in to world title contention, and with other British fighters Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla recently trying, and failing, to capture world titles, he is excited about the prospect of the big fights to come.

“There are so many big fights at Lightweight not only in the UK but on the world scene and I can’t wait to get involved in the thick of it,” said Burns.

“It was frustrating before to hear people say that I was being sent out to America to just be an opponent for Figueroa, I proved them wrong. I will fight anybody, that’s the only way you get the big fights. We aren’t looking at a particular route or governing body – whatever comes our way, we will be ready.

“I was gutted for Anthony in Manchester. He should have been given the nod but it was a close fight. With Darleys Perez getting the two point deduction – I can’t get my head round how they gave it a draw. Fingers crossed he gets the rematch as Anthony definitely has the beating of Perez and should be World champion now.

“Kevin was gutted after the Linares fight was stopped, he was ahead by a couple of rounds but that cut was pretty nasty, the swelling was bad and he did take a lot of clean shots. Kevin will be back soon enough in camp and we can get back to our wars in sparring – as usual and he will be ready to go again.

“Kevin and I wanted Anthony to win – we joked that we would have a spar and the winner would get to face him in his first defence.”

What ever happens next for Ricky, we wish him all the best for his fight this weekend.

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