By Juan Francisco Arias
The World Championships Committee of the World Boxing Association (WBA) have ordered negotiations for a mandatory fight between Ricky Burns (40-5-1, 14KOs), who recently captured the WBA junior welterweight championship, and hard hitting Belarussian challenger Kirill Relikh (21-0, 19KO) - ranked at number one at 140 pounds.
Burns won the WBA championship last month and easily dispatched of Italian fighter Michele Di Rocco in eight rounds to become the first Scottish boxer to win his third world title in a three weight division.
While Relikh has earned the right to be on top of the rankings, he's been knocking out opponents left and right with a ninety percent knockout ratio.
The teams behind Burns and Relikh were duly informed that they have 30 days to reach an agreement or their contest will be sent to a purse bid.
Relikh has never gone beyond the eight round. In his last contest, he put away Joaquim Carneiro in four rounds back in May. He has stopped his last twelve opponents with the last boxer to go the distance with him is back in 2012.
Burns had been hoping to secure a major fight at the weight, like Adrien Broner, the winner of the upcoming unification between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol on July 23rd in Las Vegas.