World champion Ricky Burns believes he can continue to improve after adding another dimension to his game with a stunning fourth-round stoppage of Kevin Mitchell. The consensus in the boxing world was that the WBO lightweight title fight in Glasgow could go either way with Burns' staying power and tactical nous in contrast with Mitchell's punching power.
But Burns confounded expectations by going on the front foot early on and putting Mitchell under sustained pressure. The pressure told in the fourth with Mitchell on the canvas twice before referee Terry O'Connor stopped the contest amid a barrage of punches. Burns was fighting only his third contest since stepping up to lightweight but looked bigger, stronger and faster than Mitchell, who suffered the second defeat of his career.
Burns said: "I'm off to Vegas next week on holiday but my training stuff will be coming with me. Frank says I will be out on December 8 or 15 so I'll have a couple of weeks off and then get back in the gym. I'll fight whoever is put in front of me. They know the fights I want, I'd love to go after the Ring magazine and try to unify but I'll just take it a fight at a time. I know Scott [Harrison] is itching to get a world title fight. Obviously in Scotland it would be a massive fight. But we'll find out in a few weeks."