By Terence Dooley
Alex Morrison, the manager of WBO super-featherweight titlist Ricky Burns, has confirmed that his charge will vacate his crown in order to pursue a career at lightweight, with Michael Katsidis penciled in for a November 12th clash for the vacant 135lb belt at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall venue.
“We have had confirmation through from Frank Warren’s people that Ricky will now face Katsidis in November. The lightweight title is vacant just now and we are all agreed that this is the best fight for Ricky in the long run,” revealed Morrison when speaking to STV.
He added: “As Ricky gets older he is struggling to make the weight for his current division and the next sensible step seemed to be to move up to lightweight. I don’t think he will have any problems in this division as he has always been big for a super-featherweight and he is a hard puncher.”
Katsidis previously told me that he was in talks for a rematch with Kevin Mitchell but now seems likely to meet Mitchell’s promotional stablemate. John Murray is also in the lightweight mix; he lost his undefeated tag when falling to Mitchell in eight on July 16th.
“Ricky’s always been a big super-featherweight so it will be good for him to come to lightweight,” said Murray as news of Ricky’s move came in. “Me, Kevin and Ricky in the division is good for British boxing.”
Burns’ move to lightweight nixes a clash with mandatory challenger Adrian Broner. The American had hoped to lure Burns over for a defence of his 130lb belt but now expects to contest the vacant title once the Scot’s abdication becomes is rubberstamped.
‘Rickster’ is 32-2 (9); the 28-year-old defeated Nicky Cook in a single round on the Murray-Mitchell bill and will now turn his attention to Katsidis. Michael is no stranger to these shores; he beat Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell on his two previous trips to the UK and will be confident of completing the hat trick.
‘The Great’ holds a 28-4 (23) record and has only ever lost when mixing in world class. Recent reverses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Geurrero knocked the stuffing out of the 31-year-old but he has since registered a KO win over Michael Lozada.
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