By Shaun Brown
Glasgow, Scotland - In his first bout since the March defeat to Terence Crawford, former champion Ricky Burns (36-4-1, 11KOs) was dropped in the first and outfought over twelve rounds, as Dejan Zlaticanin (19-0, 13KOs) pulled off a big upset with a split decision victory. The scores were 115-113 for Zlaticanin, 115-113 for Burns, and 115-113 for Zlaticanin. Sky Sports scored 114-113 for Burns.
Beware the unknown fighter…
Zlaticanin, from Montenegro, won the WBC International lightweight title after a thoroughly deserved win in front of Burns’ loyal fans.
The Scot, like his fight with Roman Martinez in 2010, was down in the first round after a wild left hand from Zlaticanin detonated on Burns which laid the template for the rest of the night’s proceedings. Burns under the tutelage of new trainer, Tony Sims, reverted to type far too often by looking to jab and throw wild hooks in an attempt to deter his opponent.
The unbeaten Zlaticanin fought like a gunfighter throughout, cocking his left hand knowing that he could get to the former two-weight world champion whenever he want. Moments of success for Burns were sporadic as the unheard of European continually pinned the home favourite on the ropes with shots to the body, head and whatever else could be targeted.
In the second half of their contest the pattern had a habit of repeating itself; Burns backing onto the ropes, Zlaticanin wailing away, Burns jabbing and hooking his way out of trouble like the old days when Billy Nelson trained him.
As Burns moves to 36-4 (11) and after a torrid past three fights against Jose Gonzalez (W), Ray Beltran (D) and Terence Crawford (L) question will now be asked about the 31-year-old’s future, particularly at the top level. Promoter, Eddie Hearn, told Boxing Scene earlier in the week that Matchroom would return back in October regardless of what happened at the Braehead Arena tonight. Stablemates Kevin Mitchell, Tommy Coyle and Anthony Crolla (who is rumoured to be fighting WBA Lightweight champion Richar Abril on Sep 13) may fit the bill for a final domestic swansong for Burns.
As for Zlaticanin, the 30-year-old has now arrived after an unbeaten 19-fight start to his career. Beware the unknown Zlaticanin no more
LIMOND UNSEATS WOODHOUSE
In an enthralling see-saw affair Willie Limond 38-4 (10) rolled back the years to add the British light welterweight title to the Commonwealth title he won in January of last year.
Limond, 35, edged Curtis Woodhouse 116-111, 113-113, 117-109 to win the Lonsdale belt at his second attempt.
From the offset, Scotland’s Limond took the fight to the ex-footballer, Woodhouse 22-7 (13) and made sure that he was competitive throughout any exchanges to be had. And after the third round, the uppercut that Limond was looking for in nearly every round worked when he floored the Sheffield 140lbr much to the delight of the home crowd.
With body shots and combinations exchanged from rounds 1 to 12, Woodhouse always found himself in the contest by trying to press the action with straight rights and attempts to work the body of the veteran Scot.
Limond, who has shared the ring with Alex Arthur, Erik Morales and Anthony Crolla showed moments of class with the jab peppering his foe followed up by combinations and body shots of his own. With the fight nearing its conclusion, Woodhouse found himself on the end of another lovely timed uppercut which put the British champion on his back in the 11th round.
As a cacophony of noise greeted both fighters in the final stanza, Woodhouse made sure he would give it his all by throwing what he had left at the new British and Commonwealth champion.
For Woodhouse the fairytale might be over and for Limond this may lead to a European title shot, as promoter Eddie Hearn told ‘Scene earlier this week.
SIMMONS STOPS CAMACHO
After months of bad blood, Stephen Simmons 10-0 (5) got the result he so desperately wanted over Wadi Camacho 12-3 (8) tonight in Braehead. Not only did the Scot win the fight and retain his WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title but he managed to stop his fierce rival in the tenth and final round.
With verbal warfare being the name of the game during the build-up, matters had to be settled in the ring with Simmons’ looking to move on and get a crack at British and Commonwealth champion OvIll McKenzie at some point this year.
Throughout the contest Simmons would, at times, maraud forward looking to force the action against Camacho and at times couldn’t miss with his lead left which his English opponent could’ve done more to block. There were moments when Camacho looked too relaxed and simply allowed Simmons to do what he pleased at times.
In the second half of the fight there were signs that Simmons and Camacho were beginning to slip off the pace and once the fighter known as “Macho Man” found his rhythm he found various success to the head and the body of Simmons. However, the Edinburgh man would keep coming forward and land the more telling shots.
After gloves were forcibly touched to signal the final round, Simmons managed to catch his man with a straight left which rocked Camacho back and eventually saw him stumble to the floor to take an eight-count. Despite climbing back up off the canvas it wouldn’t be long before the fired up champion hunted the challenger down and threw a barrage of shots which was enough for referee Richie Davies to wave the contest off after 1:01 of the final round.
At the end of the contest the two fighters appeared to bury the hatchet with an embrace and a short conversation to signify the end of their heated rivalry.
CALLUM JOHNSON UD4 NATHAN KING
Callum Johnson continued to shake off the rust after a year out from boxing as he moved to 8-0 (4) with a decent work-out against Nathan King 14-23 (1) over four rounds.
Johnson, who told Boxing Scene earlier this week that “You don’t get paid for overtime” was trying to prove that point with his left hook causing King much trouble throughout.
The former Commonwealth Games Gold medallist dictated proceedings against King and with more fights, his notables left/right/uppercut combination that he often tried could prove to be a winning formula in the months to come.
Johnson’s trainer/manager Joe Gallagher said: “In another 2-3 fights he’ll be ready to get in the title picture. We know the ability he’s got we just need to get him out there."
KRIS HUGHES UD10 JOHN SLOWEY
After their mini small-hall classic back in December, Jon Slowey and Kris Hughes went to battle again over ten rounds with the vacant Celtic Featherweight title on the line.
The two southpaws made sure their best work was saved for the inside with both men happy to trade leather at will but this time ‘Badger’ Hughes would come out on top with a unanimous decision over ten rounds to get revenge over his fellow Scot.
From the opening bell, Hughes and Slowey were keen to pick up from where they left off six months ago and Hughes just seemed to do the more polished work throughout with Slowey landing the more powerful shots despite getting a cut under his right eye in the second round. Hughes was never really troubled, however, and put together his shots better to earn a deserved victory.
Hughes, a former opponent to Carl Frampton now moves to 17-5 (2) whilst Slowey loses his unbeaten record and moves to 16-1 (0).
SCOTTY CARDLE UD8 SYLVAIN CHAPELLE
Scotty Cardle made it 15-0 (3) wins undefeated against France’s Sylvain Chapelle 14-17-2 (0) with a reasonably convincing points decision over eight rounds.
Cardle who will be back in action on Sep 13 in a British lightweight title eliminator against English champion Kirk Goodings used his superior upper body movement and lovely mix of his orthodox jab mixed with three-four punch combinations to control most of the contest. Chapelle had brief success when attempting to back up the Joe Gallagher trained fighter by landing single hooks and additionally when his opponent tried to be elusive only to be caught at times by the Frenchman.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said aferwards "Now is the time for him to step up and Goodings is a great fight," with Cardle adding "I'll be fully ready for Goodings".
After forcing the pace in the final two rounds, Cardle went on to earn a 80-73 decision.
RYAN SMITH UD4 KRISTIAN LAIGHT
To kick-off the night’s proceedings on Matchroom’s ‘He Who Dares’ bill at Braehead headlined by Ricky Burns vs. Dejan Zlatacanin, Glasgow lightweight Ryan Smith made it two out of two when winning a 40-36 points decision over the much travelled Kristian Laight who was having his 194th contest.