Ricky Burns knows he cannot underestimate the challenge posed by the little-known Jose Ocampo if he wants to earn a unification bout in 2013.

Burns’ trainer Billy Nelson has been trawling the globe for footage of the Filipino – a replacement for the injured Liam Walsh – ahead of the WBO lightweight defence at London’s ExCel on December 15.

Just two rounds have been found and studied, meaning Burns will have to adapt in the ring in the bout, which is to be screened live on BoxNation.

The 29-year-old from Coatbridge told Press Association Sport: “I know he’s a southpaw, but that’s about it. Billy’s been struggling to get any footage of him at all.

“I’ll treat this fight the same as any other one. I’ll go out in the first round, see what he’s bringing to the table and then adjust my tactics to what he’s doing.

“It doesn’t really bother me. I don’t like to watch my opponents anyway. The way I fight I’m good at adjusting to other people’s styles.”

Should he win for the 21st time in succession, Burns has been lined up for a unification fight with unbeaten American Adrien Broner, who secured the WBC lightweight title last month.

Burns, who was a convincing victor over Kevin Mitchell in his last bout in September, added: “I just try to put it to the back of my mind. I’ve never, ever looked beyond any opponent so I’m not going to start doing it now.

“If I don’t go out there and win next week, the big fights aren’t going to happen.

“I know there is talk about it; I need to go out there and produce the goods next week for it to happen.”

Burns had been due to meet Walsh until the Norfolk-based fighter hurt his back in a road accident, with Ocampo, rated 14th in the world by the WBO, drafted in.

The 23-year-old has suffered five defeats, but most of them came in his teenage years, and 12 of his 17 victories have come inside the distance.

Preparations at Nelson’s Fighting Scots gym in Lanarkshire have gathered pace since Ocampo was confirmed, with Burns sparring with undefeated super bantamweight Kid Galahad and Terry Flannigan, who recently won the Prizefighter lightweight tournament.

“He’s looking very sharp, he’s very fit, focused,” Nelson said of Burns. “It was difficult a few weeks’ ago when we never had an opponent, but now he’s got an opponent he’s a lot more focused.”

The challenge for Nelson has been assessing Ocampo.

“I’ve got a friend who has thousands upon thousands of DVDs of every fighter in the world,” Nelson said.

“Unfortunately, with Ocampo there’s only two rounds in the whole world. But every good champion can work out different styles and I’m sure Ricky will do likewise.

“He’s strong. He’s got a good left hand, but technique-wise Ricky Burns will beat him and power-wise Ricky will beat him.”

Burns remains grounded as the bout approaches, but has taken a temporary step back from his part-time job at a sports store in Coatbridge.

For those wondering why a world champion is working part-time in a sports store, the answer is simple.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “Everybody that comes in the shop I know who they are. Some of my pals and guys I train with work in there as well. It’s not really like work.

“It gives you something else to do apart from training all the time. It breaks the routine up, especially when you’re training for a fight.”


Ricky Burns will defend his WBO lightweight belt against Jose Ocampo, with the Filipino replacing the injured Liam Walsh. The fight will top Frank Warren’s bill at the London ExCel Arena on the 15th December, supported by a top class undercard including George Groves’ fight with Glen Johnson for the Commonwealth Super-Middleweight title.

Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) will hope to build on his last display, when he looked impressive in defeating the highly rated Kevin Mitchell inside four. Ocampo (17-5-1, 12 KOs), who is ranked 14th by the WBO, will be seen as a step down by many, and the man from Coatbridge should be looking for a stoppage victory.

However, it’s clear to see Burns is not underestimating his opponent. “This is going to be the hardest fight of my career so far against a young hungry challenger who will be looking to take my title,” he said.

Victory for the two-division world champion could set up a huge clash next year against undefeated American superstar Adrien Broner.


WBO World Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns says he will end the year with a bang against hard-hitting Filipino challenger Jose Ocampo. Scottish hero Burns makes the third defence of his title on promoter Frank Warren’s six-title extravaganza on December 15th at the ExCeL London. Burns is coming off a career best win destroying British rival Kevin Mitchell inside four rounds in September and is now in line for a huge unification showdown with American star Adrien Broner who won the WBC title earlier this month.


First he has to get through the heavy handed Ocampo, ranked number 14 by the WBO, who has stopped 12 out of 17 opponents early and although he has five losses and a draw, he has never been stopped. He replaces the original challenger Liam Walsh who was injured in a car crash two weeks ago forcing him to withdraw from the fight. The 23-year-old Ocampo comes from the Sarangani Province that is governed by Congressman Manny Pacquiao.


Date: December 15, 2012

WBO Lightweight Championship Title Bout

Location: ExCel Arena, Dockland, London, United Kingdom

Promoter: Frank Warren

WENG Haya’s dream of a world title shot has been shattered after Jose Ocampo knocked him out last Sunday night in a free boxing event by SGG Promotions at the Cebu

The 22-year-old Ocampo captured the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia-Pacific super featherweight crown after stopping the up-and-comer Haya in the 2:26 mark of the fourth round.

Ocampo, a former WBO Oriental lightweight champion, unleashed a barrage of combinations who sent Haya to the canvas twice in the third round. The 22-year-old Cebuano, that gave WBO featherweight king Orlando Salido a run for his money, was caught with vicious left that ended his world title hopes. Haya was promised a rematch with Salido if ever he won the crown.

Ocampo improved to 15-5-1 with 10 knockouts, while Haya dropped to 15-5 with eight knockouts.


By: Edri K. Aznar



Exciting 22 year old Weng “Capt. Barbell” Haya, fresh from a gallant showing against WBO featherweight champion Orlando “Siri” Salido of Mexico last December 17 battles equally tough Jose “The Bomber” Ocampo for the WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight title at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City on February 4.

Haya who is ranked No. 9 in the Philippines has a record of 15-4 with 8 knockouts while Ocampo who is ranked No. 5 is also 22 years old and sports a record of 14-5-1 with 9 knockouts.

In his fight against Salido who had earlier won the world title with a stunning 8th round TKO over Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez on April 16, 2011 exploded with seconds remaining in the third round and caught Salido with a picture-perfect left hand counter that sent the world champion crashing to the canvas.

With Salido still groggy at the start of round four Haya nailed Salido with a solid left straight to drop the champion for the second time in the scheduled ten round bout but the Mexican was saved by the bell.

Promoter Sammy Gello-ani said a low blow by Salido in round six hurt Haya and as the champion began to use his experience and ring smarts Haya appeared to get frustrated. Salido hurt Haya with a punch that sent him reeling against the ropes. The 31 year old champion went after the young and comparatively inexperienced Filipino and dropped him after which the referee stepped in and called a halt at 0:35 seconds of the 8th round although Gello-ani thought .the stoppage was premature.

Ocampo himself is coming off similar unlucky circumstances when he lost by a 5th round technical decision to southpaw Rey Labao on August 6, 2011.

In an action-packed bout Labao was proclaimed the winner after the ring physician instructed vreferee Sammy Bernabe to call a halt because Ocampo was bleeding badly from a cut over his right eye which Bernabe claimed was caused by an accidental head-butt.

However, repeated slo-motion replays by AKTV IBC 13 which telecast the fight showed it was a perfect left straight that opened up the cut.

At the time of the stoppage judges Salven Lagumbay (48-47) and Eppie Almeda (49-46) had Labao ahead while the third judge Romy Yulo had it even at 48-48.


By Ronnie Nathanielsz