By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
Recently, I was lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with the highly likable WBO Super Featherweight Champion of the World Ricky Burns, who is set to defend his title for the third time against Nicky Cook at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on the 16th July.
On Wednesday Ricky, along with his coach Billy Smith, made the long trip down from Scotland to spend a couple of days training and sparring at the renowned TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, London, as part of the preparations for the Nicky Cook showdown.
Throughout the visit Ricky proved highly popular, not just with the members of the press that descended on the gym but also with the fighters that are based there. Ricky gave his time willingly and when he wasn’t actually training or sparring would be perched on the side of a ring happily chatting with anyone that approached him.
Luckily for me I had prearranged the interview, if I hadn’t I doubt that I would have got a look in with so many people vying for his attention, so without further ado it is my pleasure to present a Q & A with Mr. Ricky Burns.
Rio - You’re been down here in London for a few days to spar with Kevin Mitchell, how did that go?
Ricky - All the sparring’s been good, I always say the harder the sparring the better so we’re going to come back down again on the 20th June.
We’ve known Johnny (TKO supremo Johnny Eames) for years, so we like to get down here because there are so many boxers here. Everyday you come in there are so many fighters who you can get put in sparring with.
We’ve just organised it and we’re going to be coming back down on the 20th June for another week, because it’s such a great gym with so many people we come down and use it. Really looking forward to it.
Rio - Besides Kevin you also sparred with some of the other fighters based here, how did those sessions go?
Ricky - Obviously they’re just coming up the ranks and that, some of them like George (Jupp) and Eddie (Hussein) have only had a few fights so we just had a good move around.
I was also sparring with Dean Byrne, that was quite good tough sparring and that, you can’t ask for anything more.
Rio - You’re defending your title for the third time against Nicky Cook, on the 16th July, what’s you thoughts on the fight?
Ricky - I sat down and spoken with Billy about it. Nicky Cook has just fought again, that was his first fight in two years. Come fight night I think I’m going to be far too much for him. Although in his day he was good, but when Marquez beat him he was struggling himself, he was struggling with the weight and that. So two years on how is he going to get on making the weight then. The fight is seven weeks away and we’ll find out.
Rio - I’m adding an extra question in here - as you just said the fight is seven weeks away, yet in sparring you look fight ready already. How come?
Ricky - I’m always fight ready. After my last fight I took a couple of weeks off and I was straight back in. I was helping John Simpson, I have also been sparring with paul Appleby, Michael Roberts as well. So again my fitness is always there.
Rio - Besides Mzonke Fana is there any other fighter you would really like to fight?
Ricky - Obviously there’s the two Japanese boys that have the WBC and the WBA , I not to sure about their names (ed - Takahiro Aoh and Takashi Uchiyama) but again I’m always happy to fight anyone, that’s just my attitude.
Since I was wee and put on a pair of gloves I used to go to all the shows and on at my coach ‘get me a fight, get me a fight’ It’s just the way I’ve always been.
The way I keep myself grounded is I always tell myself that to give one hundred and ten percent every fight. I always say to Billy ‘If you get beat you get beat. If you win, you win, that’s it’ and I think it’s the right attitude I’ve got.
Again if I’m in a fight I’m in it and Billy knows I’ll always give one hundred and ten percent in the gym every time I’m in.
Ricky Burns’ third defense of his WBO World Super Featherweight title, against Nicky Cook, will take place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday 16th of July 2011.