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Ricky Burns: I Will Be Far Stronger in Katsidis Clash

Ricky Burns has revealed the end of his boxing-enforced WeightWatchers diet has been welcomed by his long-suffering family.

Former WBO super-featherweight champion Burns, who made three defences of the title he seized from Roman Martinez, had to follow a strict menu of tiny meals in order to make the 130lbs limit.

Ravenous with hunger and exhausted by his training regime, the 28-year-old Scot admits those closest to him bore the brunt of his mood swings.

But since stepping up a division to lightweight to meet Michael Katsidis for the interim WBO lightweight title at Wembley Arena on Saturday, the Scot has become far more cheerful.

"The last couple of defences of my super-featherweight title were very hard for me," said Burns.

"I was constantly worrying about making the weight and boiling down to the nine stone four pounds limit.

"I was running on empty a lot of the time and training on an empty stomach. Even my nine-year-old sister was eating bigger portions than me!

"It was a nightmare for my girlfriend, mum and dad because I was always moaning when I was trying to make weight.

"I'm easier to live with now I've stepped up a division.

"The day before the weigh-in I would still be doing two or three training sessions to lose a few pounds so it was a constant nightmare.

"Now people are going to see a far stronger Ricky Burns. I've been doing a lot more upper body strength work and I look different."

Burns has shown courage in accepting a challenging debut at lightweight against brawling Australian Katsidis.

Ferocious victories over Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell have earned Katsidis the title 'Brit Basher' and what the 31-year-old lacks in guile he makes up for in raw aggression.

He has lost two of his last three fights, but they were against top-class opponents Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero and came while he was still grieving the death of his brother Stathi.

How much Katsidis has left in the tank will become clearer on Saturday night, but Burns is ready for fireworks.

"I couldn't have got a harder fight if I tried but these are the fights I wanted because you have to beat the best to be the best," he said.

"As soon as the fight was made it was a big weight off my mind.

"People are writing me off and I know this is going to be the hardest fight of my life, but it will bring the best out of me.

"The first couple of rounds are going to be a key factor because he's a pressure fighter and I can't have him chasing me around the ring for 12 rounds."

Katsidis is seeking a hat-trick of victories in Britain when he faces Burns and insists fighting on these shores brings out the best in him.

"When I go for a run here I feel like the air is fresher and cleaner," he said.

"I feel like I can breathe a lot more, so that enables me to train for more rounds.

"I feel like I have a new lease of life when I'm in England. I get a lot more out of my training when I'm here.

"I love the people here and the place. Boxing in Britain is great."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Uncle Rodge on 11-03-2011

You've got to admire his courage. Best of luck to you kid.

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