The likeable Scotsman can become part of boxing history this weekend.
This weekend, at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Ricky Burns not only makes his first appearance in front of a home crowd since his two losses to Terence Crawford and Dejan Zlaticanin but also has the chance to write himself into the history books as the first Scot to become a three-weight World Champion when he takes on Michele Di Rocco (40-1-1) for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight Title.
A win on Saturday night will cement Burns’ legacy and place him amongst the all-time Scottish greats – it will also see the UK’s tally rise to 14 World Champions, more (if my history is correct) than any other country has held at one time (with Tony Bellew potentially adding to that figure the following evening in Liverpool).
This Title fight marks the end of a rocky couple of years for Burns.
After battling through an early broken jaw to draw with Ray Beltran, Burns’ next opponent was current P4P superstar, Terence Crawford.
(Crawford went on to have a sensational year, mind. Hat tip to Top Rank):
Despite losing that fight Burns proved his quality, giving Crawford a tougher fight than many since as Crawford has emerged as the Sports standout Boxer, beating the likes of Gamboa, Lundy and Dulorme in spectacular fashion.
Running from a challenge is never an accusation that could be levelled at the Coatbridge fighter, his last 10 fights have included clashes with Michael Katsidis, Kevin Mitchell, Omar Figueroa, Josh King, Beltran and Crawford – all of whom could be considered elite level fighters in their own right.
Another challenge lies ahead though and although Di Rocco isn’t a household name, his record of 40 wins and only 1 loss is not to be sniffed at Burns will need to be 100% focused if he is to come away with the victory in Glasgow – 8,000+ cheering Scots will certainly help to add that extra motivation, if any is needed to become Scotland’s first 3-weight World Champion.
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