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Di Rocco Warns Ricky Burns That Layoff Made Him 'More Hungry'

Michele Di Rocco insists the hardest part of any fight is already completed as he prepares for his vacant WBA super-lightweight title battle with Ricky Burns.

The Coatbridge fighter, 33, bids to become Scotland's first three-weight world champion at Glasgow's SSE Hydro on Saturday night.

Standing in his way is the 34-year-old Italian who has a 40-1-1 record and won his last 23 bouts, albeit his last fight was a year ago as plans to face the WBA's former interim champion Jose Benavidez eventually fell through.

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Speaking through an interpreter after the final press conference at a Glasgow hotel, Di Rocco insisted that the training regime ahead of fights is always his toughest battle while stressing that the lay-off has made him "more hungry".

He said: "I don't know if Ricky Burns will be the toughest opponent of my career as I still have to fight him but usually the toughest fight is the preparation.

"The preparation is the toughest part. The fight is the easiest part.

"The inactivity is due to the fact that I was challenger to Jose Benavidez so in the last 12 month I was always in preparation.

"I have had the longest preparation of my career and I want to win."

Around 8,000 tickets have been sold for Burns' first fight in Glasgow since losing to Dejan Zlaticanin in June 2014 and his first in the 10 stone division.

Di Rocco has only fought twice outside Italy but insists the partisan crowd will bring out the best in him.

"I can't wait to fight on Saturday in front of this crowd," he said.

"It will be fantastic. I have fought in Spain and Finland with all the crowd against me but I always try to have that energy in my favour."

Burns is a former WBO super-featherweight and lightweight champion and in November he defeated Josh King to take the WBO inter-continental title.

That 11th-round stoppage in Liverpool came after he had lost three of his previous four fights but Burns insists his enthusiasm for the sport is as strong as ever.

"They are always joking in the gym that I am the old veteran," he said.

"This is my 46th fight and I feel as if I have been boxing forever.

"But I still love boxing. I have some ups and downs in the last wee while but you are not going to get a bigger fight than this and I am confident of going out and getting the win."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by HI-TECH Boxing on 05-26-2016

How is this fight for a World Championship? F*ck the WBA and their two World Championships per division. I wish boxers would stop paying for that belt, but they won't because everybody wants to be a champion. They don't care…

Comment by knockoutkid on 05-26-2016

di rocco cant crack an egg, hope burns ko's him, cause he's got nothing other than pot shots and awkwardness.

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