Burns unconcerned with weight of history


WBA super-lightweight champion Ricky Burns insists he is not concerned about making more history on Saturday.

After becoming Scotland’s first three-weight world champion last year, victory on Saturday will see Burns join an elite group of British boxers who have won world title unification fights.

Burns (41-5-1, 14 KOs) faces Namibia’s Julius Indongo (21-0, 11 KOs) for the chance to add the IBF title to his WBA super-lightweight belt and he has home advantage at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

Burns is attempting to follow in the footsteps of fellow Britons to beat rival world champions in recent years such as Carl Frampton, Carl Froch, Amir Khan, David Haye, Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Naseem Hamed and Lennox Lewis.

But Burns, 33, modestly shrugs off the significance of Saturday’s fight.

“I don’t think about what I’ve done so far and I won’t until I hang them up,” he said.

“In my eyes, a fight is a fight. It’s always great to go into big fights like this one, but the pressure is big enough in world title fights that I keep stuff like legacies and so on away, and just focus on what’s in front of me. That’s the way I’ve always been.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and people always say that I’m a three-weight world champion and only one of three ever in Britain, but I’ve not really thought about it and it’s not sunk in.

“I’m not one for making a fuss about things. I try to keep a low profile after fights, keep my head down and go on holiday, and get the date for the next fight.”

Burns has revived his career just when it looked like it had hit the buffers. Burns suffered a broken jaw and was lucky to hold on to his WBO lightweight title with a draw against Raymundo Beltran in Sep 2013 and there was also a costly legal dispute with former promoter Frank Warren.

Burns lost the belt to American Terence Crawford the following year and there were two more points defeats — to Dejan Zlaticanin and Omar Figueroa Jr — before the Scot stopped Italian Michele Di Rocco in the eighth round for the WBA super-lightweight crown.

“I’ve never mouthed off and said ‘I’m going to do this or that’ — I know what I am capable of,” said Burns.

“I know what my attributes are and my best attribute in a fight is my stubbornness. I refuse to give in, no matter what happens or how much I am getting hit.”

After a first defence win via a unanimous decision over Kiryl Relikh in October, Burns opted to face 34-year-old Indongo who he admits he knows little about.

“There were easier fights out there and maybe even more lucrative fights, but this is the fight I wanted and I’m confident that things will go well,” Burns said.

“He’s tall, rangy, and I’m not a big fan of southpaws, but I’ve been dealing better with them in sparring than I have previously.

“You can pick up the odd round of his on YouTube but there’s very little out there on him. Obviously the KO win over the Russian [Eduard Troyanovsky] is in there but you can’t take much from that, anyone can get caught cold early in a fight. He went over and no-one expected him to do that so I have to be wary early on.”

Burns, who prepares for fights in England with Essex-based trainer Tony Sims, will be Indongo’s first opponent since the Namibian traveled to Russia and knocked out local hero Eduard Troyanovsky in the first round in December.


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