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18 JUNE 2018


Burns Scorches Laryea in Seven

By Tom Gray at ringside: Ricky Burns successfully defended his WBO super featherweight title for the second time when Joseph Laryea retired in his corner after the seventh round on Saturday. The Ghanaian challenger claimed a serious injury to his right hand forced his retirement. however this reporter had him losing every session of a one sided contest.

From the start it was clear that the Burns weaponry worked better against Laryea than Paul Appleby’s had this past December. Ricky immediately made an impression with his jab and countered accurately with left hooks to the head. There was also a noticeable speed advantage which would prove decisive.

In the second Burns let fly with quick left hooks to the ribs which set up sharp combinations to the head. Laryea appeared slow by comparison and he was outmuscled when he attempted to make things physical on the inside. The occasional jab or right hand would land from the challenger but Burns has a proven chin and was always in control.

Laryea landed his vaunted jab in the third but the champion fired a right hand counter followed by a brisk combination to stop him in his tracks. Ricky’s aggression was complimented by a water tight defence and Laryea was made to miss frequently with Burns finding all the empty spots easily as he settled into a rhythm.

Both men traded jabs at the start of round four but Burns picked his time to whip in a quick combination which ended with a perfect left hook. Laryea appeared very dangerous with his head and Burns took time out to complain to the referee before launching another quick handed assault.

It was evident in the fifth that Burns was staying at mid range to prevent the Ghanaian from getting full extension on his shots which he had been allowed to do against Appleby. Ricky took away the challenger’s time and distance and used swiftness of foot to close the gap on his bemused opponent who could not respond in time.

In the sixth Burns pummelled Laryea to head and body before setting up a nice one two and a thumping right hook to the head. The fight, although one sided, was being fought at a white hot pace and the champion’s fitness was obvious as he unloaded frequent and well timed assaults with precision and accuracy.

The seventh and final round told the story. Ricky took Laryea’s jab, his best weapon, out of the fight by landing his own and then he began to inflict real damage. This reporter’s notes read; “Laryea wilting” before the bell rang to end the session which was punctuated by two big hooks upstairs. In his own corner the challenger looked extremely dispirited.

In the dressing room Ricky had his own view on Laryea’s exit; “A couple of rounds before he got stopped you could see him looking out of the ring - he just didn’t want to be there. I think hurting his hand was an excuse to get out and I’m happy with how things went.” The champion was in fine spirits after a clean and professional performance.

In regards to his future plans Ricky flashed an excited smile; “I would love to fight for that Ring Magazine belt or the Rocky belt as I call it. Mzonke Fana is number one and I’m number two (in the Ring Magazine rankings). It’s nothing personal and I’m sure he would like the chance to unify the division.”

Ricky continued; “I would love that belt wrapped around my waist. Fana’s camp have said that all Frank Warren has to do is get in touch with them, so fingers crossed they can pull it off. Airdrie Stadium would be ideal and it’s only five minutes from my house - we could get that packed out with 14,000 fans no problem.” Such a fight would be great for the sport, historical for Scottish boxing and Ricky Burns is more than ready for a new challenge.

The Coatbridge star improves to 31-2 (8 KO’s) while Joseph Laryea falls to 14-5 (11 KO’s).

March 23, 2011

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