By Jake Donovan
Recently crowned lightweight titlist Ricky Burns is set for his first defense when he faces former champ Paulus Moses in a March 10 homecoming in Glasgow, Scotland.
Burns (33-2, 9KO) brings with him a four year, 18-fight win streak, including a stunningly one-sided points win over Michael Katsidis last November to become a two-division titlist. The win over Katsidis forced the boxing world to stand up and take notice that the Scot is for real, a fact that was first hinted at in his upset win over previously unbeaten Rocky Martinez a year prior.
Moses (28-1, 19KO) is still in search of industry-wide respect, though the 33-year old carries the weight of a nation every time he steps into the ring. Also along for the ride is the undying respect of Hall of Fame promoter Don King, who likes his fighter’s chances on the road.
“Paulus Moses has done everything I have asked him to do since surrendering his WBA lightweight title in the only defeat of his career in 2010,” King noted. “He's on a three-fight winning streak since then, so he's earned the right to fight for Ricky Burns WBO title.”
This fact is hardly lost on Burns and his team, who hardly view the March homecoming as a walk in the park.
“Don King fancies the chances of his man. I have every bit of confidence in Burns, who I believe is the best fighter in all of Great Britain, bar none,” promoter Frank Warren insisted during a conference call Thursday afternoon, though with a disclaimer. “It’s well-known that Don King doesn’t get involved with fighters who are nobodies.
“It will be a great fight for Paulus, a great fight for Ricky, and a great fight for all of Scotland.”
It will also be a chance for Moses to prove his worth on the title stage. The nine-year veteran enjoyed a brief title run, picking up an alphabet belt in 2009, but managed just one successful defense before running into then-streaking Miguel Acosta more than a year later.
Moses was stopped in the sixth round of their title fight in his hometown of Windhoek, Namibia, the lone loss of his career to date. While there was no shame in losing to Acosta, what’s lacking for the moment is a win over a recognizable fighter to confirm his credentials as one of the best lightweights.
Still, the veteran carries into the ring a three-fight win streak against respectable opposition, as well as the mentality of this being his last shot at a world title.
“Frank Warren, Ricky Burns and his people know they are in for a fight with the great Namibian Paulus Moses,” King insists. He fights for his whole country."
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]