Ricky Burns bids to become Scotland’s first ever three-weight world champion

Ricky Burns
Ricky Burns

Ricky Burns will make his fighting return to Glasgow on Saturday night but insists he does need to make up for his past disappointments on home soil.

The 33-year-old takes on Italian Michele Di Rocco as he bids to become Scotland’s first ever three-weight world champion.

The pair will clash for the vacant WBA World Super-Lightweight strap at the SSE Hydro but for Burns, it also offers the chance to show his fellow countrymen he can still compete at the highest level.

The Coatbridge fighter has not boxed in front of a Scottish crowd since his June 2014 loss to Montenegrin southpaw Dejan Zlaticanin.

That came after his controversial drawn bout with Raymundo Beltran - when the Scot suffered a broken jaw early but was lucky to avoid defeat - in Glasgow and the loss to American Terrance Crawford in the city which robbed him off his WBO World lightweight crown.

At that point it appeared ‘The Rickster’ was heading into decline but he has managed to rebuild some momentum with recent back-to-back wins over Prince Ofotsu and Josh King whilst on the road in England.

But as he prepares to make his Glasgow homecoming, Burns is happy for the past to remain in the past.

Speaking as he met fans at an open training session at a shopping mall in the city, he said: “I’ve been on the road for the last couple of years fighting down in England a lot and over in Texas as well.

“But it’s always good to come home. It’s two years since I’ve fought in Glasgow and tickets are selling well.

“There was a big turn out for this open session. I just get embarrassed by this sort of thing. I just can’t wait to get out there.

“I’m not looking at it as (a chance to make up for past disappointments) at all.

“I know this is a big opportunity for me. You’re not going to get a bigger fight than a third world title at a third weight, so I need to make sure I go out there and win.

“We know it’s going to be a hard fight but it’s a winnable fight for me.

“But I’m just treating it as any other fight. If I win, only then will I sit down and think what an achievement it is.”

Burns’ career inside the ring appeared to hit the skits when his troubles outside it began to weigh on his mind.

But with the stressful legal fight with former promoter Frank Warren now behind him know, Burns - who is also a former WBO World super featherweight champion - believes he is now able to put his full focus onto his belt ambitions.

“The momentum had never left,” he insisted. “I kept saying that I wasn’t paying too much attention to what was going on (outside the ring) and that I was trying to block everything out.

“I don’t really want to go down that road and talk about that stuff again but what has happened has happened.

“No I’m just focused on this fight.

“Boxing is all I have ever wanted to do, that has never been in question. It doesn’t matter if it’s a third world title fight or a six-rounder, that is the way I’m always going to be.”

Burns will compete in the 10-stone division for the first time this weekend but is comfortable with his preparations.

He said: “Training has gone spot on and we’re on the countdown to Friday now. I’ve made the weight comfortably - almost too comfortably.

“I tried to stay big in camp and obviously the week before the fight start cutting down. But my weight has started dropping a lot quicker than I planned it to, so things couldn’t go any better.”