By Edward Chaykovsky
British legend Barry McGuigan has urged former world champion Ricky Burns (36-4-1, 11KOs) to retire from boxing. Last Friday in Glasgow, the 31-year-old boxer suffered his second consecutive loss, via a split decision, to unknown lightweight contender Dejan Zlaticanin. Even before that defeat, and the loss earlier this year to Terence Crawford, Burns struggled badly and nearly saw defeat against Raymundo Beltran and Jose Gonzalez.
"I have the utmost respect for everything that Ricky Burns has achieved. He is a perfect example to every young kid out there that if you work hard and remain dedicated there are rewards there for you. But the signs have been clear over the last 18 months that Ricky is no longer able to perform at the levels he would expect from himself. The fight with Zlaticanin was a close one but Ricky should not have been in the type of trouble he was against a guy of that level," McGuigan told Evening Times.
"If it were me, and I was once in a similar position, I would be saying that was enough. I remember that one of the all-time greats, Alexis Arguello, once said that 'They always say a fighter is the last to know when to quit, well I want to be first'. The truth is painful but it is that Ricky has wrung everything out of his body and now it is not able to perform as it needs to. It is time to hang up his gloves."