Scotland’s Ricky Burns still thinks he has plenty more to give the fight game, and is moving back down to lightweight, where he is a former WBO champion, to achieve it.
Burns, 32, who also held the WBO strap at 130 lbs, was considered by many to be finished going in as the ‘away fighter’ against tough Texan Omar Figueroa back in May on Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, yet gave a heroic account of himself in the wake of some questionable officiating. It was his second fight at 140 and 3rd loss in four fights.
However, after a much needed rest, and buoyed by that performance against Figueroa, the likable Scot has made the decision to campaign back down at lightweight, and told Sky Sports that he believes that championship opportunities could still await him there.
“We’ve now decided to go back down to lightweight. I was making light-welterweight far too easily. But hopefully we can get ourselves a couple of decent fights back down at lightweight and get myself in contention for a big fight again” he said.
“In the lightweight scene, especially domestically in Britain, there are so many big fights out there.”
And Burns is aware that he shouldn’t have to look to far to get an opportunity, with the likes of WBA interim champion Derry Mathews, Terry Flanagan and promotional stablemates Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla all there or thereabouts at world level.
Burns already holds a victory over Mitchell who would love another crack at WBC champion Jorge Linares, and Crolla is due to fight Darleys Perez for the WBA (reg) strap on July 18th. The Frank Warren promoted Flanagan challenges for the WBO version on Saturday night, so the scene is alive and well at 135 in Britain.
“I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for Anthony” Burns said. “He’s a nice guy. I’ve sparred with him a few times and hopefully he can go out there and get the result.”
“Terry Flanagan is fighting for a world title, there’s Mitchell’s performance against Jorge Linares and that is just a few names to mention. Like I say, with a couple of wins down there at lightweight it gets my name back there among them all.”
Burns will next be out on August 1st on Matchroom’s “Rumble on the Humber” show (against a TBA opponent) that will be headlined by up and coming lightweight prospect and Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell, who fights rival Tommy Coyle in an all-Hull grudge match.