By Jake Donovan
With Monday’s announcement of Ricky Burns signing with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport also came confirmation of his next fight, which will take place on May 11 in Scotland.
The opponent and the venue have yet to be secured, though Burns’ new handlers have designs on both. The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) is being sought, with the venue holding upwards of 10,000 fans for a given boxing event. The site played host to Burns’ last ring appearance, a 4th round knockout of Kevin Mitchell last September.
“Ricky will make his next appearance May 11. That leads the way for us for Ricky’s future – Scotland,” Hearn announced to the assembled media on Monday. “We’ve seen the fights he’s had out there, obviously Kevin Mitchell, (Paulus) Moses. Just being out there recently let me see the huge the following he has out there. We plan to build on that for the future.”
The matter presently at hand is to sort out Burns’ immediate future.
Burns (35-2, 10KO) was twice scheduled to face Miguel Vazquez in a lightweight title unification bout. The two were supposed to clash this weekend in London, only for promoter Frank Warren to push back the show to April 20. Rumors ran rampant that the bout was never officially secured, although Vazquez’ camp confirmed an ailment as the reason for the March 16 postponement.
Warren’s office announced a rescheduled date of April 20, but Burns decided the show would go on without his own involvement. The Scot announced his defection from Warren and onto Matchroom Sport. Several names have been mentioned for the May 11 opponent, including Vazquez as well as top lightweight titlist, unbeaten Adrien Broner.
The fact that Vazquez has twice been scheduled to face Burns doesn’t automatically place him at the top of the list.
“Vazquez is a fight that we can have in the future,” Hearn acknowledged, though with a hint of resignation and dismissal. “That’s not necessarily on the immediate radar list. We’re looking for an opponent in the coming days and also looking at potential venues.”
For now, all that matters to Burns is getting back into the ring after more than three months worth of training camps leading to no fights. Even with all of the extra training time, Burns still plans to hit the ground running for a fight still two months away and without an opponent or a home.
“Up until last week, we ran solid for six weeks. I took a week off. We’re still waiting on an opponent, but we will start training tomorrow (Tuesday, March 12).”
The plan is for Burns to fight in May and again in September, both fights taking place in Scotland. By then, the hope is that Burns has proven to be a big enough star to demand any fighter in or near his weight class to travel to his backyard for a blockbuster event.
“As far as opponents, Ricky said to me he wants to box big fights. He will be fighting May and again in September, both in Scotland,” Hearn confirmed. “In the lightweight division, there’s Broner, who looks like he will be fighting Malignaggi – there’s Ricky and there’s Vazquez.
“Those are really the big three. Hopefully we can bring Adrien Broner to Scotland and that’s something we’d like to discuss in the coming weeks.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox