Ricky Burns retained his WBA Super Lightweight world title with a unanimous points victory (118-110 & 116-112 x2) over game challenger, Kiryl Relikh.
The Belorussian started the contest on the front foot looking comfortable amidst a hostile Scottish atmosphere, with the challenger claiming the first two stanza’s in style. Commended by the creation of a subdued atmosphere in the arena.
As the fight ran into the middle rounds the champion showed his superior ring generalship and beginning to control the pace. As ‘Rickster’ began to land on the heavy handed Relikh having great success with his right hand, it became clear the challenger had never been hit like this before. The early charge of Kiryl began to falter as a consequence it looked like Burns could be on his way to another stoppage victory.
But credit to the native of Belarus he came back to cause Ricky problems when many expected him to tire as he had never fought past the eighth round. He continued to cause problems as both men at times stood toe to toe, Relikh seemingly having the champion in trouble but the experienced Burns pulled through as he always does to claim the final round on my card.
The Ricky Hatton trained fighter will be disappointed with how wide the scorecards where as they did not truly reflect the competitive nature of the contest. But he impressed beyond what was expected especially having to take three attempts to make weight.
The champions attentions now turn to bigger fights with Adrian Broner name dropped by promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn spoke of the possibility of the fight taking place in Las Vegas even as early as December as terms are virtually laid out. Burns stated he is willing to travel and believes he will take an army of fans with him. However plans for a showdown before the years end could be hampered by the Scotsman perforating his ear drum in the seventh round.
On the undercard there were stoppage wins for Dillian Whyte who claimed the vacant British Heavyweight title with a tenth round victory after Ian Lewison failed to emerge for round eleventh round.
There was also a sixth round stoppage win for Lancashire’s Scott Cardle who retained his British Lightweight title by defeating Kevin Hooper.
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