By Elliot Foster
Ricky Burns has been handed the chance to win a third world title.
The Coatbridge fighter, who has won global honours at both super featherweight and lightweight, will face foreign opposition in the spring as he looks to make it a trio of triumphs at the top echelon of the sport.
Burns (39-5-1, 14 KOs) is set to be pitted against Italian veteran Michele Di Rocco (40-1-1, 18 KOs), with the pair contesting the vacant WBA super lightweight crown, on May 21 at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.
‘Rickster’ has only campaigned at 140lbs once in the past as he dropped a contentious decision at the hands of Omar Figueroa, a former WBC lightweight champion, in Texas last May.
But he has stepped up to the 10st division to take on the 33-year-old rather than stick at lightweight and face José Zepeda in a final eliminator for the WBO title, which is held by Terry Flanagan and being challenged for by Liverpool’s Derry Mathews next weekend.
Burns, 32, last fought in the country in 2014 when he was defeated by Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC International title and has been on the path back to the top since.
En-route to the homecoming, he stopped Prince Ofotsu in Hull last August before capturing the WBO Inter-Continental belt against Josh King in November.
Di Rocco is a former European super lightweight champion and, at 33, is on a 23-fight winning streak and has just two blemishes on his record –– a stoppage defeat at the hands of Giuseppe Lauri nine years ago and a draw against Giorgio Marinelli in 2006.
Meanwhile, Willie Limond (39-4, 11 KOs) looks set to top the undercard as his British super lightweight title challenge against Tyrone Nurse (32-2-1, 6 KOs) will be moved from its home later this month.
The clash is scheduled to feature as part of the undercard to Kell Brook’s third IBF welterweight title defence and the return of Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell, but it is now understood to be being relocated and will be accompanied on the Glasgow card by Commonwealth amateur champion Charlie Flynn (6-0, 1 KO) and undefeated Joe Ham (6-0, 4KOs) as they look to advance their ledgers in the paid code.
Elsewhere, Boxing Scene understands that Cyclone Promotions-promoted star Josh Taylor (4-0, 4 KOs), who campaigns in the super lightweight division and is a Commonwealth Games gold medal winner, is being considered for a slot on the undercard.