Ricky Burns Talks Cook Defense, Lightweight Leap, More
Ricky Burns insists his boxing career is driven by the love of the sport rather than a craving for the limelight.
The Scotsman took his time to reach the top but at 28 he will make the third defence of his WBO World super-featherweight title against Nicky Cook at the Liverpool Echo Arena on July 16.
Burns's training camp in Stepps, Glasgow, was packed today after the media were invited to see him work out but the Coatbridge fighter claims he has no real desire for the attention that comes with being a world champion.
"I do it because I need to," he said. "I am getting used to it a bit more but being in the limelight doesn't bother me.
"Whether I had to do this or just turn up and go in the ring, I would be happy either way.
"I am happy being anonymous. I like to keep myself to myself and I don't think I will ever change.
"In the ring, that's where I am at my happiest. Boxing is all I have wanted to do. I just love boxing and I belong in the ring.
"I have been boxing since I was 12 so I feel as if I have been fighting for ever.
"I do it for the love of the sport. Obviously everything that comes with it as a bonus."
Burns' first professional bout was a decade ago but he insists there are plenty of rounds left in him yet, even if they are likely to be at a heavier weight.
"I am 28 but everyone says I am immature and I should grow up a bit," he joked.
"So there is better to come from me.
"There has been talk of me moving up a weight but for now I am more than happy to stay at super-featherweight.
"But again, if a big fight came up at lightweight, who knows what would happen."
It was originally thought that Burns would fight in Scotland this summer but the champion has no qualms about taking on an Englishman in Liverpool, albeit Cook is from Dagenham, Essex.
"A boxing ring is a boxing ring," said Burns.
"I have travelled throughout my career and it doesn't bother me.
"They are looking to raising my profile and I am happy with that.
"Cook did box a few weeks ago but he was inactive for 18 months and who knows if that will take its toll but we will find out in a few weeks.
"Everyone knows I give 100% in every fight so we will have to see if he can last the pace."