By: Andrew McCart (@mccart3204)
Former WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns has been handed a route back to a world title this Friday night, when he takes on unbeaten Montenegrin Dejan Zlaticanin, at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, live on Sky Sports.
Burns lost his WBO title back in March against slick American Terence Crawford, but the 31-year-old Scot will look to get back on track and win a third world title after the WBC approved this fight with Zlaticanin for the Intenational title and as an eliminator for the world title. The main belt is held by undefeated Mexican-American Omar Figueroa, who will be defending his title in the coming months against Daniel Estrada.
The Coatbridge fighter remains confident that he can win another world title, and feels a fight with Figueroa is a fight he can win. However he needs to get past the unknown Zlaticanin first if he is to get his shot at the sought-after green and gold belt.
“I believe I have another world title in me,” said Burns. “It would be a fight that I would be confident going into and the WBC belt is the one that everyone wants to get their hands on.“
Since his defeat to Crawford, Burns decided that a change was needed and split with long-term coach Billy Nelson, and will now have the experienced Tony Sims in his corner on Friday night.
“I felt that I had to make a change,” Burns said. “I needed some new ideas to freshen things up a bit.“
Burns has been off the pace in his last three fights and he feels the decision to move away from his home in Scotland and leave his wife Amanda and young son to travel to to Sims’ gym in Essex is the right move at this point in his career.
“When you’re away from home, you are leaving all the distractions behind,” explained Burns. “When I’m down there, you are basically training, eating and sleeping.“
Also featuring on the card will be two Scotland vs. England bouts: British lightwelterweight champion Curtis Woodhouse will take on Commonwealth champion Willie Limond in a mouth-watering unification bout.
Then there is the fight everyone is looking forward to – the grudge match between Stephen Simmons and Wadi Camacho, which will be for Simmons’ WBC International Silver title.by