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Theophane To Spar With Ricky Burns For Mitchell Bout

By Phil D. Jay

Former British light-welterweight champion Ashley Theophane is aiming to put the disappointment of his loss to Darren Hamilton behind him when he makes his comeback in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 24.

The 31 year-old, who has fought some of the top fighters between 140 and 154lbs, planned to take 18 months out of chasing his world title dream to win a British Lonsdale belt outright and just fell short with points defeat to Hamilton in May after making two defences.

The Londoner is now returning to the US to re-establish his headline status on American soil.

He fights for the 38th time in his career against an opponent yet to be named at NC Music Factory’s Reelworks Studios and is currently preparing to get back to winning ways.

“Training has gone well for this fight. I've been in the gym for nearly nine weeks so I'm in great shape and ready to go,” Theophane told World Boxing News.

“I'm feeling ready to continue where I left off in 2010 when I pushed (current WBC light-welterweight champion) Danny Garcia to the distance, beat (154lb world title challenger) Delvin Rodriguez on points and picked up the IBO International title (by defeating Harasch Hotaki).

“I've had my biggest wins in America and performed my best over there. My goal as a kid was to fight the best in America and that is still my goal. I enjoyed being British champion for 15 months but it's time to get back in the ring with the big boys on the world scene.”

‘Treasure’ has had to turned down some big opportunities across the Atlantic in recent times for one reason or another and hopes a win later this month will have promoters knocking on his door once again.

“My name is always linked to big bouts in the States, be it on HBO or Showtime so what comes up in future is not an issue. It's about one that gets me excited,” he explained.

“I've been linked with Lamont Peterson, Josesito Lopez, Victor Ortiz and Randall Bailey in the past and they’ve all gone on to do great things, so these are the type of opponents that I'm interested in.

"Fights that excite me are genuine 50/50 fights or some bouts I go into as the underdog.”

Theophane confirmed some upcoming sparring with WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns, who has an important title defence against Kevin Mitchell on September 22nd and after been forced the turn down the Scot once, this time he greatly accepted.

“I got asked to spar Ricky Burns back in February but I was in New York or Las Vegas getting ready for my British title defence so it wasn't possible,” said Theophane.

“Billy Nelson asked me last week if I was available and I am so let's do this!

“I think Ricky Burns is one of Britain's best fighters so I'm looking forward to sparring with him for his world title defence against Mitchell.

“Kevin Mitchell is a good fighter, but he hasn't fought the world class fighters I have so I'm sure Ricky will deal with him comfortably.

“As for my future, there are some great fights out there in the 140lb and 147lb divisions. Brandon Rios, Kendall Holt, Marcos Maidana, Victor Ortiz and Humberto Soto are all fighters I'd love to fight.

“Whenever or wherever they happen, I'm up for it.”

Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by cuzzlo on 08-13-2012

Damn, this means that this fight is going to be off the damn hinges. I like both boxers, but Mitchell did get brutally stopped by Katsidis but has shown he has serious class. Burns is good and thorough but a…

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