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Hearn Admits He Doubted Ricky Burns After String of Defeats

Eddie Hearn thought he had seen the last of Ricky Burns when he surrendered his lightweight world title.

But after watching the Coatbridge fighter drag himself back to the summit of world boxing the promoter is refusing to put a limit on Burns' possibilities.

The 'Rickster' faces Namibian Julius Indongo in Glasgow on Saturday night in what he describes as the biggest fight of his career, with the unified Super Lightweight world championship on the line.

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Burns - who turned 34 on Thursday - will defend his WBA title against the unbeaten holder of the IBO and IBF straps as he bids to become Scotland's first ever unified champion.

But Hearn admits he struggled to see Burns ever returning to highest stage after watching his sudden fall from grace three years ago.

The Matchroom chief reckoned Burns was done after letting his WBO lightweight crown slip from his grasp with defeat to Terence Crawford in March 2014 before losing out to Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC belt three months later.

However, Burns refused to pack away his ring ambitions and beat Michele Di Rocco 12 months ago to re-ignite his career with his third world title triumph.

Hearn made the mistake of writing him off once before, but with a possible Vegas showdown against American Adrian Broner the carrot if he can emerge victorious this weekend, he has vowed never to do it again.

"He's 34 today but he doesn't look it, does he?," smiled the match-maker. "He's looking well. However, after the fights with (Raymundo) Beltran, Crawford and the Zlaticanin, he looked like a broken man in all honesty.

"I wasn't sure if he'd ever come back after that Zlaticanin loss. But the fight with Omar Figueroa was the best thing that could have ever happened to him. He got sent out to the States, made a lot of money and looked really tight at the 140lbs weight.

"Although he lost, it gave him a new lease of life. Now he looks fresh, he looks confident and he seems to be improving. Not many fighters have the kind of career he has had when they start winning world titles again after they've lost one.

"At this stage of his career, everything is looked at on a fight-by-fight basis. But Ricky knows a victory on Saturday makes him a huge target for the big names - and they will follow.

"But from what he has been through, everything he gets is a bonus. I kind of feel we're now free-rolling. We've had the Di Rocco win, then the defence (against Kiryl Relikh last October) and now a unification, so God knows what's next? Vegas? (Adrien) Broner? You can't rule anything out ."

Hearn admits he could have earned his client far bigger sums had they explored more lucrative fights elsewhere.

But he was pleased to see Burns put belts before bundles of cash after opting to take on Indongo, who claimed his IBF, IBO titles from Russian Eduard Troyanovsky with a sensational 40 second first-round knockout in Moscow in December.

Hearn said: "This is a tough fight. Indongo is a big 140-pounder while Ricky is a small one. But it should be tough for a unification fight, that's how it should be.

"I had better deals on the table for Ricky and to be fair, so did Indongo. But they both wanted this fight.

"That's good for boxing. These guys have targeted each other because they both think it's a chance to become a unified world champion.

"They are both going for belts rather than the money - but Ricky is always like that.

"After the Zlaticanin when I thought he was done, I asked myself whether he would want to drop back down to British or European level. But Ricky would drop back to four-round level because he doesn't care about all the other stuff, he just loves boxing.

"It's not about the money. He just loves training and fighting. He wouldn't have it any other way.

"He deserves all the success he can get. He made history by becoming the first Scot to become a three-weight world champion, now he's going to become the first unified champion if he can win on Saturday."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Red Skull on 04-16-2017

[QUOTE=mlac;17591585]No he isnt the only one, but the threads about ricky burns, and he should of lost his last fight V that Belarussian bum. But yeah fish eyes card last weekend was atrocious 12-0 for flanagan? jesus ****ing christ :lol1:…

Comment by mlac on 04-14-2017

[QUOTE=Red-Cyclone;17591414]Agreed, but Eddie isn't the only twat that is doing this, however, there are a lot of B.S. decisions which go in his favour.[/QUOTE] No he isnt the only one, but the threads about ricky burns, and he should of…

Comment by The Mack. on 04-14-2017

he hasnt proven anyone wrong :lol1: if he fights a world level guy he'll get smashed again, its that simple.

Comment by Red Skull on 04-14-2017

[QUOTE=mlac;17591398]it's also a testament to eddie 'the envelopes' corrupt and ridiculous scorecards (not to mention the reff pretending a legit KD was a slip) :lol1:[/QUOTE] Agreed, but Eddie isn't the only twat that is doing this, however, there are a…

Comment by Red Skull on 04-14-2017

He should have been handed a UD loss to Relikh, that fight was an absolute blatant robbery and this comes from a Glasgow born and bred person, there is no bias here.

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