Ricky Burns says he is ready to begin a new chapter in his career as he prepares to take on unbeaten Dejan Zlaticanin for the WBC International Lightweight title at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow on Friday June 27, live on Sky Sports.
Burns’ near two year reign as the WBO champ ended in March when talented unbeaten Ohio star Terence Crawford claimed his title in Glasgow in the Rickster’s fifth defence. The 31 year old decided to freshen things up with a move down south to Sims, who guided Middleweight Darren Barker to a World title, and the Scotsman says he is reaping the benefits of shifting camps to Sims’ Essex base.
“I have a real spring in my step for June 27,” said Burns. “I had some great nights over the years but I felt after the Crawford fight that it was time for a change and I have definitely got a new lease of life down in Essex with Tony.
“I fly down on a Monday and work solidly Monday to Friday in the gym and hitting the road, then fly home on a Friday evening. Of course it is tough being away from home but it makes you work harder and gives you something to look forward too. You saw the effect that approach had on Carl Froch as he stayed away from his home comforts in Sheffield for the George Groves rematch, and I think you will see something like that in me on June 27.”
Sims trains Burns in Hainault and the Scotsman mixes in great company with old foe Kevin Mitchell and unbeaten former Team GB talent Martin J. Ward the two other Lightweights in the gym with Burns set to work with Olympic Gold medal star Luke Campbell MBE again in the build up to his showdown with Zlaticanin that he believes will get him right back into the World title mix.
“There’s top, top class sparring on tap at Tony’s gym,” said Burns. “I was sparring with Kevin in the build-up to his fight with Ghislain Maduma on the Froch vs. Groves bill and also with Martin who was a float on that card. Tomorrow (June 10) I start some more work with Luke which is fantastic as he’s an incredible talent.
“There are some huge fights out there for me. My last ten fights have been for World titles and I am at home in the elite so I want to get back there as soon as possible. Zlaticanin is unbeaten and will have ambitions of his own, but I want my next fight to be for a World title and I have to put on a great show to earn that.”
Burns’ clash with Zlaticanin is part of a huge night of action in Glasgow as Willie Limond defends his Commonwealth title against Curtis Woodhouse who puts his British crown on the line in the process.
Cruiserweight rivals Stephen Simmons and Wadi Camacho are set for their grudge match with the Edinburgh man’s WBC International Silver belt on the line, Jon Slowey faces Kris Hughes for the vacant Celtic Featherweight title, unbeaten Lightweight star Scotty Cardle is set for a step-up fight and there is action for unbeaten Scottish talents David Brophy and Michael Roberts.
Tickets are on sale priced £40, £60 and £100 on 0844 499 1700, at www.braehead-arena.co.uk and in person from the Braehead Arena on Thursdays from 12pm-9pm, Fridays from 12pm-5pm and Saturday from 10am-2pm.
VIP tickets priced at £200 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com
BOLTON - Bolton sensation Haroon Khan continued his unbeaten run with an assured victory over Csaba Kovacs at the Reebok Stadium.
The 23-year-old battled tough Hungarian Kovacs in his hometown at the weekend, taking his stretch of wins to five since turning professional last year, as he conclusively won 60-55 on points over 6 rounds.
Khan’s superior speed and ringcraft was evident from the start, as he took it to the bigger man, whilst catching him with left hooks as he came in.
This was the first time super-flyweight Khan had boxed six-rounds, yet the young dynamo looked convincing and calm throughout, showing he was able to maintain a longer distance as he steps into a new phase in his blossoming career.
“I felt good in there and was very pleased to get another win under my belt,” said Haroon. “This was my first six-rounder and with the change of opponent at the last moment I’m happy with how things went. Kovacs was very tough and he caught me with a couple of good shots but I showed I was able to take them and come back even harder. I needed a fight like this and it’s only going to bring me on as a fighter - I’ve learnt so much from this fight,” he said.
Khan is set to be out again in September and will know what to expect when he goes into his next bout.
“This fight has shown me what I’m going to be up against for future fights over six rounds and beyond. It’s about pacing yourself, picking your shots and I know for my next fight I’ll be even better because I’ll know what’s coming,” said Khan.
“I’m going to observe Ramadan over the coming weeks and I hope to be out again in September. In the meantime, I’ll be ticking away in the gym and looking to improve mistakes I felt I made in this fight with my trainer Oliver Harrison,” he said.
Older sibling Amir Khan was ringside on Saturday night and will be looking to share his knowledge, as a former unified world champion, with the exciting young prospect.
“Haroon has all the tools to do really well and go very far in the sport,” said Amir. “I thought he did excellent getting the win but I’ll definitely be in the gym with him giving some pointers. This was the first time he has done six rounds and the more rounds he gets under his belt the more it will help him.
“There are a few changes I would like to see him implement in his approach, with him using his boxing skills a bit more because he has all the weaponry he needs,” he said.
Plymouth Cruiserweight, Courtney Richards, is delighted that professional boxing is taking place in Devon.
The 21 year-old faces Cumbria’s Lee Kellett for a Bronze Masters Cruiserweight Title at Torquay’s Riviera International Centre and is hoping that it will be the first of many shows to take place on the English Riviera.
Midlands-based promoter, Errol Johnson, has teamed up with Plympton trainer, Carl Robson, to put on a seven fight show on Saturday, 21st June.
“I’m really pleased to be topping the bill of a professional show right here in Devon,” he told uko-boxing.com. “There are a lot of unlicensed shows down this end of the country, which has seems to have dulled out the pro side of the sport. Hopefully, that’s all changing now thanks to EJKO Promotions and Carl’s Boxing Stable.
“We did have a lack of professional boxers down here but now it’s back on the up with a lot of amateurs turning professional!
“I’m ready to put this part of the world back on the map and make sure there are plenty more shows taking place.”
Plymouth light heavyweight, Angelo ‘Concrete’ Crowe, Plympton-based Spanish light heavyweight, Christian Hoskin-Gomez, Torquay super featherweight, Torryn Pook, and Exeter trio ‘Pretty Boy’ Freddy Kiwitt (welterweight), Faheem Khan (welterweight) and Lewis Browning (lightweight) all feature.
“We’ve had a great response to the show,” added Errol Johnson. “It’s really captured the public’s imagination. I can’t wait now.”
Tickets are £30 or £50 Ringside and are available by calling: 07837 920 150. Doors open at the Riviera International Centre at 6.30pm. First bell is 7.30pm.