Scotland’s former two weight world champion Ricky Burns, now campaigning back down at 135 lbs, had a bizarre end to his fight with Ghana’s Prince Ofutsu last night in Hull when the Ghanaian second threw in the towel midway through the fifth round – ostensibly for no apparent reason.
Yes the fight – a tune up for Burns following his defeat at the hands of Omar Figueroa in Texas back in May – was essentially a mismatch, with the now (15-4) Ofotsu hopelessly out-gunned from the get-go as a gulf in class was immediately evident.
For his own part, Burns was at times forced into scrappy inside exchanges as Ofutsu came in to clinch, and in fairness to the Ghanaian, while Burns was befuddling him and making him look crude, he didn’t appear to once be seriously troubled by the punches, as Burn’s – with a modest 27% knockout ratio – has never been a concussive puncher.
It had more of a feeling of the “betting-scam” about it in truth, (although there is no indication anything like that took place) as no clean shot had landed when the towel came in with just over a minute left of the contest.
Ofutsu swung for Burns and missed and almost immediately ended up catching the towel, a clear look of surprise evident upon his face.
It was bizarre to say the least.
“I was landing a lot of clean shots on him and feeling like I wanted to tee off on him,” Burns said to iFLtv after the fight. “Maybe that’s what the corner were thinking?
“In fact they said to me after that they thought he was just going to end up getting knocked out, so they threw the towel in.”
“End of the day the corner did what they thought was right but, it was a bit weird. Obviously a fighter would rather go out – I would rather go out setting about them and the ref stop it, you know what I mean?”
The result will go down as a TKO in favour of Burns, who has faced questions about his suitability to be fighting at top level again.
Sadly for the Coatbridge man, a costly court battle with former promoter Frank Warren, in which Burns was ruled against, has cost him many hundreds of thousands of pounds and he was officially declared bankrupt earlier this year.
Irrespective of his reasons for fighting on, the 32 year old looked good getting robbed against Figueroa, but last night’s mismatch won’t tell us anything truly about what he has to give back down at 135.
He said he hopes to be back out again in October and will be looking for meaningful fights.
“(I’m) Back down at lightweight, there are some big fights out there to be made and I’ve already said it before; Boxing’s boxing and I’ll fight anybody. They (promoters Matchroom) know that so we’ll just wait and see what happens. (In the future)
“I want my name to be back in the mix. The last couple of years have been bad for me with a lot going on but that’s behind me. (I’m) Back down at my fighting weight (&) I want to get back to the top.”
With Anthony Crolla, WBO champion Terry Flanagan, Kevin Mitchell and British champion Scott Cardle – alongside the likes of Derry Mathews, Luke Campbell and even Tommy Coyle – there is a wealth of British talent in the division for Burns to test himself against domestically and on world/fringe world level in the coming months.