Simmons, Warren and Burns at press conference
By Tom Gray in Glasgow: Ricky Burns will make the second defence of his WBO Super Featherweight Title against dangerous Ghanaian, Joseph Laryea at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow on March 12th. Laryea won the WBO Intercontinental Title against Paul Appleby in his most recent outing and should present a stern test for the affable champion.
Although not in attendance the challenger did make his feelings known via an e-mail that was distributed to the press by Frank Warren Promotions; “I come to Scotland to KO Ricky Burns and take the belt. He disrespected me and I will make him pay for this. Unless he says sorry I will gut him like a pig. I will see you on March 12th Mr Burns and be ready for war!”
The champion appeared unfazed by the threat and promised that the only apology made will be courtesy of “a right hook”. Having said that Ricky is under no illusions that this assignment will be tough; “I think this will be a very hard fight. Paul (Appleby) underestimated Laryea and allowed him to box in the middle of the ring with that long jab. However, my trainer (Billy Nelson) has a game plan and we’ll be putting that into practice in the gym. I will win by any means necessary.”
The Coatbridge based champion is renowned for his brutal preparation and has high quality sparring set to commence next week; “We’ll be sparring with a contender named Tyrone Nurse who has a similar style (to Laryea) and Derry Matthews is up for a couple of weeks so my training camp is all planned out and we’ll be ready to go on March 12th.”
Billy Nelson was equally confident in his outlook; “Laryea is a capable fighter but Paul Appleby is not Ricky Burns. The guy has a good jab but in my opinion Ricky has the best jab in the world at super featherweight. Once that weapon is taken away from Laryea I’m confident that Ricky will go to town on him.”
This reporter asked promoter Frank Warren what he has planned should Ricky defend his title successfully; “I would like Ricky to feature in a big open air show in the summer but the focus is on March 12th. As we’ve seen with Laryea he has upset plans before. There’s no future opponents lined up and we’re aiming to get this defence out the way and go from there.”
It’s exciting times for Ricky Burns and Scottish boxing. If successful the champion could be knocking on the door of a unification fight, with IBF champion Mzonke Fana. Billy Nelson is also confident that his charge will make a big impression at 135lbs; “Ricky will also win world titles at lightweight because look at his frame. If we put eight or nine pounds of muscle mass on that frame then he’s more than capable of doing that.”
The undercard will also feature former world title challenger, Michael Jennings versus Gary McMillan in an eliminator for the British Welterweight Title. Callum Johnson will return in his second paid contest and former 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Stephen Simmons will make his professional debut. Paul Appleby and John Thain will also be in action.
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January 24, 2011