WBO Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns says headlining at the SECC in Glasgow where his ring heroes have fought will inspire him to his biggest victory yet against English rival Kevin Mitchell.
The Scottish hero, who’s had career defining wins against top fighters Roman Martinez and Michael Katsidis, defends his title against Mitchell on Saturday 22nd September.
Some of the biggest names in British boxing history, including Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Naseem Hamed, Pat Clinton and Paul Weir have all boxed at the historic Scottish venue and Burns is excited to follow in their footsteps.
The 27-year-old from Coatbridge has already cemented his legacy as one of Scotland’s greatest ever boxers by winning world titles at two weights and now he wants to prove he’s the best of British by beating the London scrapper.
“To fight for the first time at the SECC in the biggest and most important fight of my life against Mitchell where all these great names have boxed is an unbelievable honour,” said Burns.
“You can’t get bigger names than Benn, Eubank and Naz, plus Clinton and Weir, they’re like British boxing royalty and I can’t wait to get in the ring and thrill the fans like they did with their appearances there.
“I grew up listening to stories of when the big fights were there so I was over the moon when my promoter Frank Warren told me I would fighting Mitchell there, it’s a dream come true.”
In March 1993, the Dark Destroyer Nigel Benn defended his WBC World Super-Middleweight title against Mauro Galvano at the SECC; while his big rival Chris Eubank fought there twice defending his WBO World Super-Middleweight crown against Tony Thornton on points and Ray Close holding him to a draw in May 1993.
Burns added: “Everyone knows Benn, he was all-action and one of the greatest British fighters ever. You just knew he would be in a real fight every time he got in the ring and you would get value for money. That’s the kind of attitude that I will be bringing to the ring against Mitchell,”
Burns’ boyhood hero WBO World Featherweight Champion Naseem Hamed put on two explosive performance there, knocking out Armando Castro in four rounds in January 1995 and then demolishing Said Lawal inside a round in March the following year.
“Naz was my favourite fighter when I was growing up, he was the reason that I got into boxing and I used to stay up to watch his fights. In fact, I was more interested in what Naz was wearing as he used to changed his shorts for every fight and all the exciting ring entrances. I remember the Castro and Lawal fights because Naz was just knocking people cold with his punches, the Lawal knockout was pretty impressive because it was the first punch he threw in the fight,” continued Burns.
Scottish world champions Pat Clinton and Paul Weir both defended their titles at the SECC. Clinton defeated Danny Porter on points in September 1992 to retain his WBO World Flyweight title, but lost it there in his next defence against Jacob Matlala in May 1993. While Weir beat Kevin Jenkins in March 1993 and in his next fight made history by winning the WBO World Minimumweight title in only his sixth fight stopping Fernando Martinez in seven rounds.
“Clinton and Weir are legends of Scottish boxing. We haven’t had that many world champions, but the guys that have won it are pretty special. For Weir to win the world title in just his sixth fight is pretty amazing. I was the first since Weir to become a two weight world champion in almost 20 years which was a big achievement for me,”
The Coatbridge star is aiming for a big victory against Mitchell on the biggest night of his life.
Burns added, “It’s going to be an electric atmosphere when I get in the ring with Mitchell and I’m looking to put on the fight of my life to beat him. It’s a very tough fight, Mitchell’s the next best in the division and he’s really up for the fight so it’s going to be a pretty intense affair in the ring. In years to come it would be nice to hear people say that they were there at the SECC when Burns fought Mitchell and what an amazing fight it was.”
August 20, 2012