By Edward Chaykovsky
Ashley Theophane is looking for a second crack at championship gold in 2016.
Last month, Theophane (39-7-1, 11KOs) tried to capture the vacant WBA junior welterweight championship but he was stopped by Adrien Broner. The belt became vacant after Broner, who held the title, failed to make weight for the Theophane bout.
This past Saturday night in Glasgow, Ricky Burns (40-5-1, 14KOs) captured the vacant WBA crown with a TKO victory over Michele Di Rocco. Burns made history by becoming the first Scottish fighter to win three divisional world titles.
Last month, Burns' promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. who promotes Theophane, discussed the idea of doing a UK show where a several Matchroom fighters would be placed against boxers from Mayweather Promotions. Burns vs. Theophane was one of the fights they discussed staging.
"I managed to speak to Floyd and Leonard Ellerbe and I'm excited. We discussed DeGale and also how best to work together in matching our fighters. We're going to do something in September where we're looking at doing a Floyd Mayweather team versus a Matchroom team in a five or six-man tournament in one night. 'They've got a whole list of guys in many different weights," Hearn told BoxingScene.com's Declan Taylor.
"The obvious ones are people like J'Leon Love against Rocky Fielding at super middleweight but then you've got people like Ashley Theophane who could get a fight with Ricky Burns if Burns wins that WBA world title.
"Then at 135lbs, Mayweather's fighter Mickey Bey is fighting for the IBF title [against Rances Barthelemy in June]. If he wins that, then we could look at him fighting Anthony Crolla or one of our other lightweights like Luke Campbell for the world title. There are loads of different fights at different levels and I'm excited and they are too. I think they think it will be a lot of fun but it's just about getting the format and date right. 'Once that's sorted you will see that venture coming in the autumn."
Theophane was unable to watch Burns' most recent fight, but he is ready to go with the matchup and fully prepared to travel wherever is needed.
"I haven't watched the fight [against Di Rocco] but I saw him fight Omar Figueroa in the States. I also watched him fight Kevin Mitchell [in 2012] because I was sparring with him to help him get ready for that fight. I always liked Ricky. He's a good fighter and he's never been scared to fight the best and test himself," Theophane told Sky Sports.
"I was up in Scotland for two weeks. The sparring was very good. It was back and forth. There were days that he did better and days that I did better. I know I can beat him and I know he'd think he can beat me. I definitely have the tools to beat him but it's about doing it on the day. It's all good doing it in sparring but it's about doing it when it counts. Me and Ricky would be a good British fight. We'll have to see what they want to do.
"He's the only Scottish man to win world titles in three different weight divisions and that's a testament in itself. It's a great achievement. He's done well and he's my weight division so it's obvious I'd want to fight the champions. I just fought for that same belt he won when I lost to Adrien so it's a fight that the fans seem to want. A lot of British fans have been telling me they'd like that fight. I know Eddie Hearn mentioned it before so it's a fight Matchroom have on their mind as well."
"I know Floyd wants to do a show in the UK and that Leonard Ellerbe has spoken to Eddie Hearn. It'd be good to fight back in the UK. After my next fight, Ricky Burns would be the fight I'd want. It'd be an easy one to make."