By Tom Gray
Ricky Burns was far from happy about returning to Glasgow from Las Vegas recently but if everything goes to plan next month he could be back in Sin City in early 2013.
“I had a great time over there,” said the champion with a huge smile. “I trained at the Mayweather gym a few times but unfortunately the main man (Floyd Jr.) was out of town, so I didn’t get a chance to meet him.”
Burns sites Mayweather as an idol, even naming his dog after him, and yearns for the bright light showdowns to which the legendary pound for pound star has become accustomed.
First things first though as the Coatbridge star must content with undefeated former Commonwealth champion Liam Walsh, from Norfolk, in a second consecutive Anglo Saxon confrontation on December 15th at the London Excel Arena.
“There has been a lot of talk about fighting the big names but I need to get past Liam Walsh first. I’m taking nothing away from him because he’s undefeated and he’s on a good run.”
Last time out Burns shocked his critics with a thumping fourth round stoppage of Kevin Mitchell. Although there has been vast improvement in Burns’ game the power he displayed that night was seen as something new.
“Knockouts happen in boxing,” remarked Burns with his trademark humbleness. “There are people who say I can’t punch but I hit hard enough to keep an opponent thinking.”
Still, as the champion discussed his next opponent there was a hint of frustration in his words, although he promises not to overlook Walsh.
“I treat every fight the same way whether I’m the favourite or the underdog,” stated Burns. “I go in there to win and nothing changes in terms of preparation or my attitude to the fight itself. I know I have a job to do in six weeks and I’ll be ready to do it.”
Burns continued, “I was ticking over on holiday and I went for a few runs. We knew I was fighting on December 15th and now that the opponent has been confirmed we can decide on sparring partners and get things underway with hard preparation.”
Walsh’s best victory to date was a savage tenth round stoppage of Burns stable mate Paul Appleby and the two time world champion remembers the York Hall war vividly.
“I was there when Liam fought Paul Appleby and he showed so much in that fight,” remarked Burns with respect. “He was badly hurt but came back and done a job on Paul.”
“Liam is hungry so I am taking him as seriously as any other fighter.”
A verbal agreement between Frank Warren and Golden Boy Promotions has been reached to match Burns, should he retain his title, against undefeated hotshot Adrien Broner but Burns is quick to point out the danger that faces the charismatic American.
“Everyone is saying to me if I come through in December then I’ll be matched with Broner but I keep telling them he hasn’t beaten Antonio De Marco yet. He’s got his work cut out for him because De Marco is a great champion in his own right.”
“I’ll be watching it closely on November 17th when they two meet up.”
Burns v Walsh will be live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday 15th December. Join at www.boxnation.tv