By Michael Collins: WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO’s) is in need of an opponent for this Saturday’s fight on December 15th at the ExCel Arena, Dockland, in London, United Kingdom. Burns was supposed to be fighting Jose Ocampo, whose trainer recently passed away.
Burns was first supposed to be fighting contender Liam Walsh, but he pulled out of the fight as well after getting injured in a car accident.
Now Burns is dealing with another fighter pulling out of a fight with him in Ocampo. It’s really bad luck because it’s incredibly difficult to find good opponents to step in and fight a champion on short notice unless they’re going to get a huge payday. If this was Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao, there would be a rush to fight them even if it were one day notice. But Burns isn’t a huge money fight compared to those guys and there are just not many options out there.
In truth, there’s not going to be much of a drop off no matter who they find. Ocampo was going to be way out of his class against Burns in the same way that Liam Walsh would have been. These weren’t top five contenders or anything. We weren’t talking Sergio Thompson or Richard Abril here. Burns was going to wipe out Ocampo, and he’s going to destroy whoever they find on short notice.
The sad part about all this is Burns is supposed to be fighting a unification bout with WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner in February 2013. Burns isn’t doing himself any favors by facing yet another weak opponent because it’s not going to help him get ready for that fight, if there is such a thing as opponent that can get Burns ready for something like that. It’s also not interesting for fans because Burns already has been underwhelming as the WBO champion because he hasn’t faced the truly dangerous lightweight contenders in the division.