By Edward Ckaykovsky –

Promoter and former champion Ricky Hatton praised WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns for his victory last Saturday night in Glasgow when he came from behind to stop unbeaten Jose Gonzalez in nine rounds. Gonzalez appeared to win the first seven rounds, but began to fade badly and then quit on his stool before the start of the tenth – claiming a left hand injury.

“I was very fortunate where I was able to beat people who were more talented than me because I wanted it a bit more. When you get to that level where you are very evenly matched, you have to drag it out. No matter how much you work in the gym on a game plan, you have to drag it out in the chmapionship rounds and that’s what Ricky did. I know [Gonzalez] damaged his hand a little bit but he was tiring. Maybe he lost a bit of bottle? Maybe he did but because of what Ricky was doing,” Hatton told Sky Sports.


Date: May 11, 2013

WBO Lightweight Championship Title Bout

Location: United Kingdom

Promoter:  Matchroom Boxing/Eddie Hearn

Referee:   Russell Mora

Judges:   Lisa Giampa, Glenn Feldman, Julie Lederman

Supervisor:   Francisco Valcarcel

Results:   Ricky Burns retains the WBO Lightweight Title against Jose Gonzalez by RTD in 9th. round (Gonzalez broken his left wrist and retired in round 9, Referee stopped the fight).


Ricky Burns successfully defended his WBO lightweight title after Jose Gonzalez retired at the end of the ninth round at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

The Scot made a third defence of his belt against the previously unbeaten boxer from Puerto Rico as the fight was called off just before the tenth round, with Gonzalez unable to continue as it appeared he had suffered a broken hand.

Burns could not find a way to break Gonzalez – who was fighting outside of Puerto Rico for the first time in his career – and had it not been for the injury he would have found it difficult to win without a knockout as Gonzalez had the upper hand over the rounds.

“I felt he was getting tired and I had to keep the pressure up,” Burns told Sky Sports after the fight. “I couldn’t believe how awkward he was. I felt like it was maybe a boring fight and I thought I should go to town a bit and I knew my corner didn’t like it. I could hear [trainer] Billy [Nelson] going off his nut.

“But I take my hat off to him [Gonzalez], he’s a class opponent and he caught with me with a few good shots.”

It was Gonzalez who threw the jabs in the opening round as Burns held back, and even at such an early stage the Scot started to get frustrated as his opponent made a confident start.

Burns enjoyed some success in the second round as the Scot was finally able to land a couple of punches on Gonzalez, but once again the man from Puerto Rico looked assured and relaxed as he slipped and slid one way and then another in the ring.

The crowd had been given nothing to cheer about yet, but they had something to shout about in the third round as Gonzalez absorbed a couple of Burns blows to his body.

Burns appeared to be the nervy challenger, and in the fifth round Gonzalez – who was boxing like the champion – was in control of the contest with Burns on the ropes.

Another round passed with Burns unable to make his mark, but he came alive in the seventh round, firstly escaping from the ropes after huge hits, and then responding with a few punches as both men exerted plenty of energy.

Gonzalez took his foot off the gas in the eighth round as he looked to be fatigued, and Burns produced his best round as the momentum began to shift to the home favourite. The ninth round belonged to Burns as well with Gonzalez not as light on his feet as he was at the start of the fight, and ready for the tenth round the fight was called off as Gonzalez apparently had a broken hand and could not continue with the bout.



Photo:  Getty Images –

By:  Ronnie Esplin, Press Association –

Ricky Burns retained his WBO lightweight title after Jose Gonzalez stayed on his stool at the end of the ninth round in a dramatic night at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

The 29-year-old mandatory challenger from Puerto Rico went into the fight unbeaten in 22 fights with 17 of them won inside the distance but an injury – with the suggestion it was a broken wrist – scuppered his chances of an upset.

Burns survived a seventh round in which he took some punishment and although he came back after that he was behind on points when the fight came to an early finish.

Winner:  Burns came away victorious after a pulsating battle in Glasgow

The 30-year-old, making his third title defence, started cautiously, using his left jab to get his range.

Encouraged by the raucous crowd, the Coatbridge champion commanded the centre of the ring, pressing his opponent back albeit some wild swings missed the target.

Burns looked the more powerful, snapping his left-hand out to make sure Gonzalez kept on the back foot.

The third round witnessed more and better exchanges between the two fighters with a trickle of blood appearing on Burns’ nose.

The crowd got excited when their favorite had the challenger on the ropes but it was all too fleeting to do too much damage.

The chanting started again as the crowd urged Burns forward, not that he needed much persuasion.

He took a right-hand flush on the face in the fourth round but came back with a couple of powerful body shots.

Some fierce blows were traded but Burns still looked in control, emerging from clinches with little damage done.

Gonzalez appeared game but his lack of experience made him vulnerable at times.

Against that, he indicated with some good powerful punches, some that Burns had to take, why his knockout record was so impressive.

The Scot got caught with a stinging left hand at the start of the sixth round which brought him charging towards Gonzalez in some anger, but still he could not quite pin him down.

The Puerto Rican was changing attack hand at regular intervals and he wobbled Burns with a right hand in the a remarkably brutal seventh round from which the champion was lucky to escape.

Burns came out at the start of the next round determined to get back on top, as the slightly nervous crowd bayed for their man to regain control.

It looked like the champion’s head had cleared but he flew into Gonzalez swinging wildly at times.

The challenger was on the back foot for most of the ninth round, looking like he may have lost his chance to create an upset.

But there was unforeseen drama when Gonzalez failed to come out for the 10th round, which sparked scenes of celebration in the Burns camp.



Photos: Joel Colon PR Best –

Ricky Burns ended the tremendous challenge of Puerto Rico’s Jose Gonzalez to retain his WBO world lightweight title in Glasgow.

Gonzalez, unbeaten in his previous 22 bouts, retired at the end of the ninth round with a damaged left wrist.

At that point, there was little to separate the two as Burns was tested to the full in his third title defence.

And the 30-year-old Scot must have experienced as much relief as delight when the bout was ended prematurely.

The partisan crowd would have wilted the fighting desire of lesser men but Gonzalez was bright and game in the opening round, flashing out his left fist to keep the more aggressive Burns at bay.

The opening two rounds suggested the fight could be a thriller, with Gonzalez breaking from his more languid style to mix it up on occasion with the home favourite.

Burns’s nose was bloodied in the third and the challenger enjoyed success with two-fisted attacks towards the end of the round.

However, the Scot grinned at the attempt and was ferocious with his own assaults.

With 17 knockouts in an unblemished 22-fight career, the challenger posed considerable danger to Burns but, as is his style, he was prepared to take a few shots to land some of his own on the 29-year-old from Toa Baja.

Against Kevin Mitchell in his last defence, Burns looked bigger and stronger than his opponent: not so with Gonzalez.

By the midway point in the fight, the pair looked evenly matched, each able to boast of inflicting pain on the other and of making their opponent miss with superb reflexes.

Worryingly for the champion, Gonzalez looked wonderfully composed, even winking to his corner on occasion.

The seventh round was Gonzalez’s strongest as he pinned Burns against the ropes and blasted at his arms and body.

Burns was off balance and ragged and was under the greatest threat since the opening rounds of the bout against Roman Martinez, which he won to become world champion at super-featherweight.

Whatever advice trainer Billy Nelson imparted had the desired effect as Burns caught Gonzalez with a sickening left to the body to stem the tide in the eighth, an impression that continued into the ninth as he began to assert himself once more by being quicker off the mark in their exchanges.

And when the challenger remained seated in his corner as the bell sounded for the 10th, the crowd roared to acclaim their hero – and the talent of the challenger.

On the undercard, John Simpson was too accurate and too composed for Choi Tseveenpurev from Mongolia. The Greenock fighter took the vacant WBO inter-continental super-featherweight title with a unanimous points win – 116-112, 117-112, 116-113.

As has been the case throughout his career, the 41-year-old proved impossible to stop and at least he left Glasgow with that record intact.

But Simpson had to work hard for his win, wisely choosing when to attack and when to cover up to avoid the upper cuts and sharp punches from the brave opponent.

In the end, despite a bloody nose, Simpson’s work was the more telling and his victory was thoroughly deserved.

Edinburgh’s Steve Simmons won the vacant Celtic cruiserweight title after Michael Sweeney’s corner retired the Irish fighter with an unspecified injury after three rounds.

Glasgow super-featherweight Michael Roberts survived a cut eye in the third round and some thumping, varied shots in the sixth to beat Brentford-based Polish southpaw Mariusz Bak.

Judges gave the Scot the nod with a score of 58-57. The 26-year-old takes his record to 12 wins and no defeats as he seeks to build a case for a tilt at the British title.

Burns v Gonzalez

Gonzalez troubles Burns with excellent movement and jabbing over first six rounds

Explosive seventh round sees both men take serious punishment

Burns shows superior strength to control rounds eight and nine

Gonzalez retires with damaged hand – his first loss in 23 fights

Burns’ record now stands at 36 wins from 38 bouts



El escocés, que defenderá su título ligero frente a “Chelo” González mañana, sábado, sabe adaptarse a distintos tipos de rivales.

Foto:  Joel Colón/PRBBP – Por:  Pablo J. Maldonado/primerahora –

El campeón ligero de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), el escocés Ricky Burns, sabe que tendrá una dura prueba cuando defienda su título por tercera vez mañana, sábado, contra el invicto puertorriqueño José “Chelo” González.

A pesar de que nunca ha peleado fuera del Reino Unido, Burns (35-2, 10 KO), de 30 años, es un púgil probado en el boxeo profesional y es considerado por muchos expertos como el mejor boxeador ligero del mundo.

El monarca escocés tiene actualmente una racha de 20 victorias consecutivas y ha ganado todos los combates en que se ha disputado por un título.

Su primer campeonato mundial se lo arrebató al boricua Román “Rocky” Martínez con una victoria vía decisión unánime en septiembre de 2010, cuando se alzó con el título superpluma de la OMB.

Luego, realizó cuatro defensas exitosas antes de subir al peso ligero, en el que ganó el campeonato de la OMB con una importante victoria sobre Michael Katsidis, por decisión unánime, en septiembre de 2011.


Según algunas páginas cibernéticas especializadas en el boxeo, una de las grandes virtudes de Burns es que se adapta a cualquier estilo de rival.

“Contra Kevin Mitchell, Burns fue un pegador fuerte que ganó por nocaut en el cuarto asalto. Contra Michael Katsidis, fue un boxeador que neutralizó el estilo aguerrido de Katsidis”, establece la página fightpreviews.net.

“En su mejor pelea hasta ahora, Burns se levantó de la lona en el primer asalto, adoptó un estilo escurridizo y dominó por completo a Román Martínez”, añade el análisis.

Precisamente, nadie mejor que Martínez para opinar sobre quien le quitó el título mundial superpluma.

“Burns es un peleador incómodo, siempre tiene buena condición y se mueve bien hacia ambos lados”, dijo Martínez, vía telefónica ayer, a Primera Hora.

“Es un peleador difícil, ha ido luciendo bien desde que subió a 135 y le ganó a Katsidis. Tiene los quilates”, añadió el actual campeón superpluma de la OMB.

Sin embargo, “Rocky” cree que su compatriota tiene una buena oportunidad para vencer al escocés el sábado.

“En el boxeo siempre hay oportunidad. Este es el examen final de ‘Chelo’. Tiene la oportunidad de ganar, pero no puede dejar que Ricky ‘se la monte’. Tiene que atacarlo temprano”, opinó Martínez.


Burns ha visto frustradas dos citas titulares debido a problemas con su antiguo promotor, pero asegura que la inactividad de ocho meses no lo afectará en su condición.

“Ha sido decepcionante que se cayeran las últimas dos peleas. Pero estuve en entrenamiento completo para las dos peleas, así que no es como si estuviera fuera del gimnasio”, dijo Burns en estos días, según reportó BBC Sport en su página web.

“No habrá moho en el ring”, aseguró el campeón escocés. “He tratado esta pelea igual que cualquier otra. Solo quiero entrar y hacer mi trabajo”.

Saben que “Chelo” es peligroso

Tanto Burns como su promotor, Eddie Hearn, saben que el púgil británico tendrá las manos llenas frente al invicto González (22-0, 17 KO).

Posiblemente, sea una defensa obligatoria muy dura para el púgil escocés.

Burns es consciente de que se enfrenta a un fuerte pegador, pero entiende que podrá manejarlo.

“Por su récord, es un fuerte pegador. He peleado con pegadores fuertes antes y salí bien. Cualquier cosa que traiga, según ha sido mi entrenamiento, sé que seré capaz de manejarlo”, dijo un confiado Burns durante la conferencia de prensa del pasado miércoles.

Por su parte, el promotor Hearn entiende que el boricua irá con todo para robarle el título al escocés.

“González está invicto y cree que puede ganar esta pelea. Por eso es que está aquí y es una amenaza real”, dijo Hearn en declaraciones recopiladas por el diario británico The Sun.

El promotor aclaró que no hay cláusula de revancha en el contrato, por lo que “Chelo” tendrá una “oportunidad gratis al título mundial”.

“Estos muchachos de Puerto Rico son fuertes, tienen una fuerte tradición y hacen las cosas difíciles”, añadió Hearn.

“Ricky sabe que estará en una pelea real”, concluyó el promotor.



FOTOS:  Joel Colón/ Aleudi Rosario Cotto, PR Best Boxing Promotions –

El puertorriqueño José “Chelo” González y el escocés Ricky Burns pasaron sin problemas el pesaje oficial efectuado en la mañana del viernes en el St Echno Centre de Glasgow, Escocia, para su combate de mañana, sábado, por el título mundial ligero de la  Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), en poder de Burns, que se efectuará en el Emirates Arena, en una presentación de Matchroom Boxing en asociación con PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP), que será transmitido en Puerto Rico exclusivamente en vivo a través de DirecTV.

Tanto González (22-0, 17 KOs) como Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) marcaron 134.5 libras y se mostraron tranquilos y confiados en la pose frente a frente después de la ceremonia con la balanza, que fue celebrada abierta al público.

El boricua, primer clasificado de la OMB en las 135 libras y campeón latino de la OMB en el peso ligero, se dirige ahora a hidratarse y alimentarse para luego descansar, rumbo a la importante cita mundial.

La cartelera, que estelarizará el pleito González-Burns, será vista en vivo en Puerto Rico el sábado, comenzando la transmisión a las 3 de la tarde por el canal 165 de DirecTV y con retransmisión a las 9 de la noche. Además, habrá una pantalla gigante en la cancha del barrio Campanillas de Toa Baja para que los fanáticos puedan disfrutar este evento en vivo a través de DirecTV.

González regresará a Puerto Rico el domingo, 12 de mayo, arribando al Aeropuerto Luis Muñoz Marín en el vuelo #5123 de British Airways que tocará suelo a las 8:25 de la noche.



Photo:  Skysports –

Ricky Burns has entered “crabbit” territory as he awaits Friday’s weigh-in ahead of his WBO world lightweight title fight against Puerto Rican Jose Gonzalez at the Emirates Arena the following evening.

The 30-year-old champion from Coatbridge, who has not fought since beating Englishman Kevin Mitchell in September last year, is in the final stages of a typically rigorous training regime.

At the head-to-head press conference at the Glasgow venue today, Burns used the old-fashioned Scottish word for agitated to describe his emotions.

“It is always the couple of days before the fight which is the worst,” he said.

“I think every boxer will tell you the same because you need to start cutting down on what you are eating.

“You start getting crabbit, you just want to get the weigh-in over and once that is over you can concentrate fully on the fight.

“So I am playing the waiting game now. I have been training for so long. I just want to get out there and put on a show for the fans and I am really looking forward to it.”

Burns posed nose-to-nose with his 29-year-old mandatory challenger, who arrived in Scotland with 17 knockouts from an unblemished 22-fight record.

However, the Scot refrained from the body-language analysis which usually accompanies those type of picture opportunities

“I don’t really pay attention to all that stuff, you do it because you need to do it for the photos,” he said.

“What matters is when the two of us are in that ring, that’s what matters most.

“I can’t wait for Saturday night. It is going to be a great night.”

Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn, from Matchroom Sport promotions, expects around 6,000 fans to turn up at the newly-built arena in the east end of Glasgow, all of whom, according to the champion’s trainer Billy Nelson, should be appreciative of their man.

Nelson said: “Ricky is a genuine world class fighter and that’s what we tend to forget in Scotland.

“We don’t appreciate what we have got until maybe it is not there anymore.

“We should be very proud of him.

“There is nobody in the whole world – and I sincerely mean this – who could beat Ricky Burns at lightweight just now.

“I think he is in the condition of his life to be perfectly honest.

“He is physically stronger than he was for the fight against Mitchell, he is punching stronger, his confidence is high and he has been looking great in sparring.”



Photos:  Scott Heavy/Getty Images

By Briggs Seekins –

On May 11 in Glasgow, Scotland, WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns will put his belt on the line against undefeated Puerto Rican contender Jose Gonzales. The Scottish Burns will be defending his title before an enthusiastic home crowd.

This is a classic matchup between a rising star with explosive potential and a crafty veteran who knows what it takes to win on the big stage. With Adrien Broner jumping to welterweight next month, Burns should be viewed as the top fighter in the world right now at 135. He’s coming off a Round 4 TKO of the big-hitting Kevin Mitchell, quite possibly the finest performance of his career to date.

The fight will be broadcast in the United Kingdom on Sky.


The 30-year-old Burns will have the benefit of fighting in front of his home crowd, while Gonzalez fights outside of Puerto Rico for the first time in his professional career. Gonzalez’s KO ratio of over 70 percent is eye-opening, especially for a lightweight, but it was primarily accumulated against mediocre competition. Gonzalez has not only never fought outside of Puerto Rico, he’s also never fought anybody close to Burns’ level.

Gonzalez’s 73″ reach is impressive for a 5’8″ lightweight. Burns’ reach is average for a fighter of his height, but he gets the most of it by extending well and using his legs to move in and out of range. Although only a year separates them in age, the gap in experience is vast here. Burns has fought close to three times as many rounds.

Ricky Burns

Jose Gonzalez


35-2, 10 KOs

22-0, 17 KOs














Coatbridge, Scotland

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico




There are two competing and equally compelling storylines in this fight. Ricky Burns is extremely popular in his native Scotland, and with good reason. He’s a grounded guy with a pleasant disposition. In the ring, he scraps with emotion and heart.

Burns is already being talked about as a serious candidate to go down in history as among the greatest Scottish boxers of all time. If you’re a Scottish fan, the storyline here is clear: “Our boy Ricky is going to knock off a big-punching, undefeated contender.”

Gonzalez has his own national pride to represent. When you consider the size of the overall population, the number of great boxing champions to come out of Puerto Rico is ridiculous.

Any time a young Puerto Rican fighter racks up the kind of record Gonzalez has, you are going to start hearing phrases like “the next Tito” being thrown around with breathless excitement. If Gonzalez can go to Scotland and knock off the top lightweight in the world, a new star will be born.

Ricky Burns v Kevin Mitchell - WBO World Lightweight Championship





Ricky Burns is a very large lightweight. His height and frame make him look closer to a welterweight, and the amount of work he must do to make the 135-pound limit no doubt contributes significantly to what is exceptional conditioning. He has a very deep gas tank and uses it to keep his legs moving all fight long.

Burns has been a professional since he was a teenager and has been fighting high-level competition since winning the super featherweight title from Ramon Martinez in 2010. He is a smart, relaxed fighter with grit, who stands up well to pressure and makes necessary adjustments during a fight.

Jose Gonzalez is a monster puncher. His knockout percentage is very high and many of them have come in spectacular fashion. Against journeyman Oscar Cuero, he connected with a body shot that forced Cuero to stand up straight, take a step back and then after a beat collapse to the canvas, finished for the night.

Fighters who know they can end things with a single punch bring an added layer of confidence with them into the ring. Gonzalez will need this, as he travels across the Atlantic to fight the much more experienced Burns, in front a crowd that will be wildly cheering every thing the Scotsman does.

Ricky Burns has only won 10 fights in his career by stoppage, giving him a knockout percentage of just over 25 percent. In his last fight against Kevin Mitchell, he managed to hit the Brit enough to stop him inside of four.

Most of Burns’ career until recently he has campaigned at 130. Like I wrote in the last slide, he’s big for a lightweight, so now that he’s stopped draining himself to junior lightweight, maybe his punches have more bang.

But he doesn’t have a track record as a big hitter, and against a guy who can pound like Gonzalez, that could make for a fine line to tread.

Jose Gonzalez hasn’t really faced a fighter who could seriously stand up to him up until now, so it is very hard to tell what his weaknesses might be. In the video I have watched of him, he comes straight forward without a lot of head movement. He’s right there to be hit, and a sturdy opponent who can hit and move and turn him at an angle might give him a lot of problems.

But it’s possible he has fought those other guys like that simply because he could. He may have more wrinkles to his game than he’s shown so far.

But his first time fighting away from his native Island, in front of a partisan crowd, is a heck of a time to have to find them.

Ricky Burns v Kevin Mitchell - WBO World Lightweight Championship

Burns will win if he keeps moving and doesn’t allow Gonzalez to cut off the ring. He needs to keep turning the challenger at angles, and he needs to hit him much more than he lets Gonzalez hit him.

Burns represents a huge step up in competition for Gonzalez, and he’ll be fighting for the first time in his career away from home. Burns needs to rattle his confidence early. He needs to frustrate him by making him miss and sting him with punches as he tries to cut off the ring.

Burns might not knock out a lot of opponents, but as he proved against Mitchell, he can hit hard enough to stop a world-class fighter if he keeps landing. He’ll need to maintain a high level of concentration against a banger like Gonzalez, but Burns has fought big punchers before and finished with his hand raised.

Gonzalez will win if he can manage to land on Burns with repeated flush shots. Burns is rugged and durable. He’s got a better chin than anybody Gonzalez has fought to date.

But Jose Gonzalez’s power is for real. He hasn’t fought truly high-quality opponents, but he’s been in there with seasoned pros and dropped them. Guys like that don’t just crumple up like paper unless they get hit with a legit shot.

To land that kind of shot against Burns, he is going to have to cut off the ring and trap him. He’s going to have to stay patient and not allow himself to get frustrated if Burns is managing to deflect or avoid his big punches early on.

For the most part, Gonzalez has been able to walk through people. He’s unlikely to do that against Burns. He’s probably going to lose rounds, maybe the majority of them.

So he’s going to have to keep believing in himself and his power while he waits for the chance to explode.

This is a tough one for me to come down on. Gonzalez has fought a relatively low level of competition, but the power he has displayed in those fights is hard not to take seriously.

But Burns has beaten big punchers before, and big punchers with a lot more experience than Gonzalez has.

In a sense, this reminds me of an HBO card I covered last year, which featured undefeated Puerto Rican welterweight Thomas Dulorme against Argentinian veteran Luis Abregu. Abregu cut him down and finished him in seven.

To be sure, Dulorme came in with far more hype than Gonzalez has generated. But there are similarities. Gonzalez is a hard-punching, undefeated phenom stepping up in competition to face an opponent who has been in with some of the top guys in the world.

Maybe it’s just because I am a middle-aged gym rat. But I am always inclined to come down on the side of experience.

I think Burns will be able to frustrate Gonzalez and break him down over the course of the fight. Burns can be hit, but he can take a punch and should be able to use enough movement to keep Gonzalez from landing much that is really flush.

Burns by unanimous decision, 118-110.



(Photo credit: PR Best Boxing Promotions/Joel Colon) By Scott Gilfoid: WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO’s) will be making his third defense of his World Boxing Organization 135 pound title this Saturday night against the big punching Jose A Gonzalez (22-0, 17 KO’s) at the Emirates Arena, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

The 30-year-old Burns will be getting his first taste of power since his clinch-filled 12 round decision over Michael Katsidis two years ago in London.

Since then, Burns has had two easy fights against light hitters Kevin Mitchell and Paulus Moses. Gonzalez, 29, is a much bigger puncher than Katsidis or Burns’ biggest hitting opponent to date Roman Martinez, and he’s got huge, huge power in either hand.

Gonzalez, from Puerto Rico, can punch right through guards, so if Burns is going to employ the rope and dope strategy that he used in his fight against Katsidis then I’m afraid he’s going to take a tremendous amount of punishment because you really can’t block Gonzalez’s shots because the power that he has.

The only way to try and survive against Gonzalez is to duck, dodge and run from him because if he hits you anywhere on your body you’re going to be in serious trouble.

Gonzalez is definitely the biggest puncher in the lightweight division by far and that includes WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner.

I expect that Burns will use his old arm bar and clinch techniques to keep from getting nailed by Gonzalez, but I don’t think it’s going to work.

I’ve seen some of Gonzalez’s fights where his opponents tried to hold down one of his arms the way that Burns likes to do and he kept nailing them with HUGE right hands.

Gonzalez is able to generate tremendous power even in close, so grabbing and holding one of his arms isn’t going to save Burns from punishment.

Likewise, using excellent clinches to try and tie Gonzalez up won’t work as well because he works during clinches. He doesn’t just give up passively and let his opponents survive or get rest breaks from his punishment.

Gonzalez is coming into this fight with a four-fight knockout streak that dates back to 2011. He’s stopped Alejandro Rodriguez, Oscar Cuero, Joseph Laryea and Hevinson Herrera in impressive fashion.

Burns is going to have problems taking his shots because he tends to like to slug with his opponents, but with Gonzalez you can’t do that because he hits so incredibly hard. He’ll literally punch a giant hole through Burns if he tries to slug with him.


Ricky Burns

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO- World Boxing Organization (WBO), by president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, announced today the referee and judges who will work this Saturday, May 11, in the lightweight world title fight between the champion Ricky Burns and the #1 ranked Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez to be held at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, in a Matchroom Boxing presentation.

For the bout where Scottish Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) will defend for the third time his 135 pounds WBO title against Gonzalez (22-0, 17 KOs), from Puerto Rico, the referee will be Russell Mora, from United States.

Meanwhile, the judges for the Burns-Gonzalez fight will be Lisa Giampa, Julie Lederman and Glenn Feldman, all three from United States.

The WBO supervisor for this fight will be Markus Aslani, from Germany.



By Scott Gilfoid: –

WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO’s) is flying blind going into his title defense this month against unbeaten #1 WBO Jose Gonzalez (22-0, 17 KO’s) on May 11th at the Emirates Arena, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Burns, 30, has seen very little of Gonzalez’s fights because there’s so little footage out there for him.

This means that Burns is stepping into the unknown against the hard hitting Puerto Rican Gonzalez, and that’s not what you want when you’re a light puncher like Burns because Gonzalez has the kind of power where he can take the judges out of the picture by knocking Burns out and rendering Burns’ hometown advantage meaningless.

Burns said to fightnews.com “His knockout ratio doesn’t concern me at all, When I fought [Roman] Martinez he was knocking everybody out and after the first round when I got caught clean I was fine.”

There’s a big difference between the weight drained Roman Martinez and the hard hitting Gonzalez in terms of power. Martinez was weight drained when he fought Burns three years ago in losing by a close 12 round unanimous decision in Scotland. Gonzalez won’t be weight drained and he’s a much harder puncher with either hand compared to Martinez.

The fights I’ve seen of his, I’ve been very impressed with his power. Gonzalez doesn’t have to throw many punches to knock his opponents out. He generally lands one big shot with either hand and his opponents are in deep trouble.

You can say that Gonzalez’s opposition hasn’t been that great, but you can also say the same thing about Burns. He’s faced some pretty awful fighters even while he’s held the WBO super featherweight and lightweight titles.

Gonzalez’s best opponents thus far are Joseph Laryea, Eddie Soto, and Fernando Trejo. Gonzalez destroyed Laryea in a 3rd round TKO last year in July. This is the same fighter that Burns stopped in the 7th round. As you can see, Gonzalez took him out much faster than Burns. That suggests that Gonzalez has major power that could give Burns a lot of trouble.

The thing with Burns is he does a heck of a lot of holding and running when facing a big puncher. Look at his wins over Michael Katsidis and Paulus Moses. Burns was all over both of them, holding on for dear life, and running like no tomorrow.

It was so painful to watch both of those fights because you’re just wondering why the referees were letting Burns hold so much without taking off points in both fights. If you were to make a film in how to not fight, those fights would be perfect examples because those were good fights to get you ready to go to sleep or turn the channel to something more interesting.



Photos: Joel Colon/PR Best –

A confident Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight #1 ranked, made today his last training in Puerto Rico before his travel to Glasgow for his world title bout against the champion Ricky Burns on May 11, at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, in a Matchroom Boxing presentation.


Gonzalez (22-0, 17 KOs), who is also the WBO Latino champion worked today for the Puerto Rican media and showed his good condition to challenge Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) in his homeland.

“We are in the final stage of my training and I feel very good thanks to God”, Gonzalez, who is going to travel tomorrow to Scotland, said. “We have worked intensely, as always, for my fights, but with the focus in win the title.”


Today, the Toa Baja native, who received from the Mayor Anibal Vega Borges the flag of his town, worked some rounds of pads with his trainer Roberto Nevarez, some rounds in the punching bag and hitting the speed bag.

“We are comfortable with all the work. It’s just time to work with the weight for the fight and as always we make the weight at the weigh in,” Gonzalez said.


In his most recent fight, Gonzalez won a seventh round TKO over Alejandro “Soma” Rodriguez, who was hurt and didn’t continue the fight starting that round, in a show presented on February 2, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

In Burns, a Scottish idol who is going to defend his 135 pounds belt for the third time, Gonzalez will find a former junior lightweight champion who beat Puerto Rican Roman “Rocky” Martinez (actually champion again) in 2010 to gain the crown that defended three times. Burns come off a fourth round TKO win over Kevin Mitchell in September, 2012.

“Burns is a slick fighter, a boxer who throws a lot of punches and very tricky, but I’m very focused on do what I have to do to win this fight and to bring the title to Puerto Rico,” Gonzalez said.



Photo/google images/www.thesun.co.uk

By Stevie Ocallaghan:

On May 11 at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland’s Ricky Burns defends his WBO Lightweight title against arguably his toughest opponent since he first won a world title in beating Roman Martinez back in September 2010.

Puerto Rican Jose Chelo Gonzalez, who comes to the ring with an impressive 22-0 with 17 stoppages is arguably taking a big step up in facing Burns but as the mandatory , deserves his chance.

Gonzalez is a huge puncher who moves really well and likes to keep a tight guard. He doesn’t waste many punches and he likes to walk opponents down. He is similar shape to Burns, big for the weight and very physically strong. It’s a good match-up.

Burns, since his win against Martinez has went from strength to strength , beating the likes of the rugged Michael Katsidis, the big hitting former champ Paulus Moses and then the impressive 4th round destruction of Kevin Mitchell. Burns is in good form himself.

It’s a good fight arguably for both as its a fight Gonzales will like, Burns isn’t the hardest to hit, but he does possess a solid chin, and Gonzalez will fancy knocking Burns out.

Burns will like this also as he has a proven track record at a higher level than Gonzalez. Burns is the ultimate professional in the way way he trains and realistically I don’t think there is a fitter fighter out there. Burns will count on his workrate to get the job done.

Both guys are 29 years old but Burns has far more experience against a higher level of fighter. Burns is 2″ taller at 5’10″ but Gonzalez has a 3″ longer reach. Both have a common denominator in Joseph Laryea. Laryea against Burns retired at the end of seven hard round with a suspected broken knuckle. At the time Buns was handily ahead. Gonzales stopped Laryea at the end of the 3rd but Laryea’s best days are now gone.

My only critic of Gonzalez opponents are that most of his fights where against guys who were on their way down, but I suppose you could say that about some of Burns’s opponents before he got the Martinez fight.
It’s a good match-up, but I can see Burns taking it on a UD. I think his big game experience will come through in the end, but in boxing you just never know.



Ricky Burns insists he will not even consider a world title unification fight with Adrien Broner until he sees his way past Jose Gonzalez.

It was announced yesterday that the WBO lightweight champion will face unbeaten Puerto Rican Gonzalez in Glasgow on May 11.

The WBO insisted that Burns take on their mandatory challenger or face losing his strap – ending any immediate hopes of a super fight with WBC champion Broner.

The American is now due to move up two divisions to take on WBA welterweight belt holder Paulie Malignaggi on June 22 but there are still hopes that Burns and Broner can square off in future.

Burns, however, is not looking that far ahead.

He said: “At the moment, I can’t look beyond this fight. I never look beyond an opponent. I’ve got to give this guy what he’s due. He’s not the mandatory challenger for nothing.

“There is talk of Adrien Broner moving up to 147 to fight Paulie Malignaggi. We don’t know if he will stay at his current weight or what. I just need to get past May 11 first.”

Burns has not fought since beating Kevin Mitchell in September last year after his last two fights were called off at short notice.

A scheduled bout with Miguel Vazquez next month was axed after he split with former promoter Frank Warren, after the initial date was postponed, while a date with Jose Ocampo in December was also called off at short notice too.

But the Coatbridge fighter – whose fight with Gonzalez is his first since linking up with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport promotions company – insists his extended lay-off will not affect him by the time fight night arrives.

He said: “Although the fights were cancelled, it is not as if I’ve been out of the gym or stopped my training. I was always preparing for the fights and it was then that they were called off at late notice.

“After that it was just a case of taking a break, letting the batteries recharge and then getting back in the gym.

“We started back training last week and it will be six weeks on Saturday until the fight. So whatever happens, I’ll be ready to go.”

Burns is already a two-weight world champion after moving up from super featherweight but plans to move to light-welterweight are at least two years off, he says.

“A lot of people have been talking and saying that I have been struggling to make the weight, asking if I’m going to move up to light-welterweight,” said the 29-year-old.

“But for now I’m definitely staying at lightweight. I’m going nowhere. There are a couple of big fights out there, the unification fights, that I am confident I can win.

“So for the next couple of years anyway I will definitely be staying at lightweight.”




Mexican hitman Miguel Vazquez says he’ll be as deadly as fellow countryman and Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez when he faces WBO World Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns at Wembley Arena.

Vazquez, the IBF World Champion, puts his title on the line against Burns’ belt in a big unification clash on Saturday 16th March that also features stars Nathan Cleverly, George Groves, Dereck Chisora* and Liam Walsh, all live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546)

Hernandez, currently the only Mexican playing in the Premier League, hails from Guadalajara – the same as Vazquez.

Since arriving at the Red Devils in 2010 “Chicharito” has terrorized defences with his speed and accuracy, hitting the net 46 times.  He fired home twice in Saturday’s FA Cup match against Fulham.

And Vazquez has promised to make it a Mexican treble by battering the Scotsman and taking his belt.

“When I fight Burns I will be just like Hernandez, a cold and ruthless assassin.  There will be no remorse when I’m taking Burns apart,” Said Vazquez.

“Hernandez is a hero in Mexico, I saw the match on Saturday and I said that is what I have to be like to beat Burns,”

“A striker and a boxer have the same mind set, a striker has to have to the killer instinct to score, the boxer to land a knockout punch, when the opening comes against Burns that will be the end for him.”

Vazquez isn’t worried about facing Burns who destroyed rival Kevin Mitchell in four rounds last time out.  Vazquez was the first man to beat hammer-hitting Breidis Prescott after the Colombian destroyed Amir Khan inside a round.

He added, “Burns is a good fighter, he is strong, he has good skills and he knocked out Kevin Mitchell which was impressive,”

“But he has never faced a fighter like me before.  I’m unbeaten as a world champion at lightweight.  I beat a huge puncher in Prescott and he didn’t hurt me, I don’t see how Burns can hurt me,”

“I will be Ricky Burns’ worst nightmare.  I’m coming for his world title, his title is as good as mine.”

Burns v Vazquez joint-headlines a blockbuster show with WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly’s title defence against Robin Krasniqi, plus George Groves challenging for the Vacant European Super-Middleweight title, heavyweight Dereck Chisora* and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight Champion Liam Walsh, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).

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Promoter Frank has put together a blockbuster event ‘Rule Britannia’ on Saturday 16th March at Wembley Arena featuring some of the biggest stars in British boxing including Ricky Burns, Nathan Cleverly, George Groves, Dereck Chisora and Liam Walsh, all live and exclusive on the Home of Champions BoxNation.

WBO World Lightweight Champion Burns headlines the show in a sizzling unification showdown against tough Mexican IBF World Champion Miguel Vazquez.

Burns, 27, returns to action following his tremendous 2012 when he become Scotland’s first two-weight world champion in twenty years and ended the year stopping long-time rival Kevin Mitchell inside four rounds.

With thrilling wins against top fighters Roman Martinez and Michael Katsidis in his career, Burns faces yet another hard test against Vazquez, 26, who has made five defences of his world title in a 36-fight career.

Hailing from Guadalajara, Vazquez was last in action in December on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez card when he defeated Mercito Gesta on points to retain his belt.

Vazquez became the first man to beat Breidis Prescott after the dynamite-punching Colombian destroyed Amir Khan inside a round and has only lost on points to current world champions Saul Alvarez (twice) and Timothy Bradley.

It’s been Burns’ dream to unify the title and he’s excited to finally get the opportunity.

Burns said, “This is a dream come true for me.  Any boxer would be happy winning two world titles at two weights and retire, but for me I want to continue winning more world titles, unifying them and stepping up the weight divisions.  Vazquez is a top fighter and one that I’ve been after a long time so I’m over the moon that it’s happening.”

All-action Welshman Cleverly, the WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion, joint headlines the card with Burns when he puts his title on the line against mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi.

Cleverly made a big impression in America with his KO win over Shawn Hawk last November and now he has to remove Krasniqi before he can secure fights against top US fighters Bernard Hopkins, Tavoris Cloud and Chad Dawson.

But it won’t be an easy night against the dangerous German based Serbian Krasniqi who holds the WBO International title.  He has won his last four fights by KO and has never been stopped in 41 fights with only two points losses very early in his career.

“Krasniqi will be a hard defence and he’s a fighter not to be underestimated.  I’ve got to beat him and in style to keep the heat on for a unification fight against Cloud, Dawson or Shumenov.  Every fight is crucial for me, but there is extra pressure on this one to perform which I love because I fight best when the pressure’s on,” Cleverly said.

London star Groves aims to add the vacant European super-middleweight title to the British and Commonwealth belts that he’s already won when he faces the tough Italian based Senegalese fighter Mohammed Ali Ndiaye.

Groves, 24, put on a masterclass performance in December to outpoint the tough Road Warrior Glen Johnson over twelve rounds in London, but now has to remove Ndiaye who’s only lost once on points in 22 fights.

He said, “I’ve won the British and Commonwealth titles and the European is the next step for me towards the world title.  The guys is tough and awkward, James DeGale didn’t want to fight him, but I’ve got the tools to beat him.  It’s a great show to be on alongside Cleverly, Burns and Chisora and it will be a fantastic night in London.”

Exciting heavyweight Dereck Chisora has his first fight of the year on the show, strictly subject to him being successful in reapplying for his British Boxing Board of Control license.

The big-hitting Finchley star, a former British and Commonwealth Champion, will feature in a ten-round International contest with his opponent to be announced.

In February last year Chisora pushed long-reigning WBC World Champion Vitali Klitschko the hardest since Lennox Lewis and he’ll be looking to work his way back into challenging for a world title.

Liam Walsh nearly challenged Burns for his world title in December, but had to withdraw from the fight after he suffered a back injury in a car accident in the build up.

The Cromer star has now recovered and is fit and ready to fight again and he’ll defend his Commonwealth Super-Featherweight title and unbeaten record against his undefeated Canadian challenger Logan McGuinness.

Finally, Romford Cruiserweight Tony Conquest aims to exact revenge over Rotherham’s Neil Dawson to reclaim his WBO International title.

Dawson beat Conquest with a shock first round stoppage in December and he’ll be out to prove that

Promoter Frank Warren is thrilled to be put together such a big show in London.

He said, “It’s the best of British all in one night of big fights.  Fans have got two of our very best world champions, Burns and Cleverly, in action with Burns in a huge unification clash against Vazquez, while Cleverly faces a hard defence against Krasniqi.  Groves has the chance to add the European title to his collection and has a tough fight against Ndiaye, while Chisora is reapplying for his license and providing he gets it he’ll feature in a ten-rounder.  The show will be backed up with an action packed undercard with some of the best in young British talent.

Tickets for Rule Britannia, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200 are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk

By Frank Warren


Timing is everything when it comes to winning in the ring. Ricky Burns has conquered that aspect in spades in recent years, but the timing required for actually getting into the ring has proven to be a bear for the streaking lightweight titlist.

Yet another fight date has been pulled from under his feet, as a proposed January 26 title defense in Glasgow is no longer on the table. A projected return in late February or early March marks the third separate targeted next fight date for Burns, who hasn’t fought since his 4th round knockout over Kevin Mitchell last September.

“He’s just having a wee rest before his next fight, which should be at the end of February or beginning of March,” revealed manager Andy Morrison in an interview with BBC Scotland on Tuesday. “We hope it will be in Glasgow so that Ricky’s fans can see him in action.”

Burns (35-2, 10KO) saw two separate opponents fall through on a December 15 show from which he was eventually removed. His original opponent, undefeated contender Liam Walsh was injured in a car accident in November, prompting event handlers to secure the services of Jose Ocampo.

Plan B fell apart a week before the fight when Ocampo withdrew following the sudden death of his trainer. The news left Burns gutted, as it was reported at the time that the fight was to serve as a springboard for a potential showdown with unbeaten American star Adrien Broner on HBO in the first quarter of 2013.

The January 26 date in Scotland was tentatively held for Burns, though his team entered negotiations for the fight with Broner. Talks seemed to move along well, until Burns’ team decided they would instead go in another direction, sticking with the hometown showcase and pursuing the fight sometime down the road.

Broner will now face former 140 lb. titlist Gavin Rees, while Burns is now left without a fight. His handlers held on to the fight date for as long as possible, but decided to postpone after still being without an opponent just two weeks out from fight night.

The decision made by Burns team in regards to Broner marked the second time such a fight has been left on the table in the span of just over a year. Burns was a 130 lb. titlist at the time he was sought out for Broner’s first shot at a major title in November 2011. However, the Scot decided that he could no longer make the 130 lb limit, moving up in weight and abandoning the fight and HBO date.

The gamble proved worthwhile; Burns went on to soundly defeat Michael Katsidis in a vacant lightweight title fight to lay claim to alphabet hardware in his second weight class. Broner won the 130 lb. belt left behind by Burns, but managed only one official defense before outgrowing the division himself and moving up to lightweight late last year.

Broner and Burns are generally regarded by most respectable ranking sets as the best two lightweights in the world. Such a showdown would crown an officially recognized lightweight king.

Instead, Broner – whose arrival came in emphatic fashion with a one-sided beatdown of Antonio Demarco in November – now has the opportunity to put further separation between the two when he fights in February.

Burns, who had his chance to have a say in the matter, was always going to be a living room spectator for the fight. Only now, his view of the fight will come while waiting for one of his own.

By Jake Donovan



Ricky Burns is officially off of Saturday’s show at the ExCel Arena in London.

The red hot lightweight titlist was set to headline the show, but the late withdrawal of Jose Ocampo left the event handlers short on time to find a suitable replacement. Burns will instead sit out the remainder of 2012, with plans to return to the ring on January 26 in Glasgow.

“It’s a very disappointing time and I feel for Ricky who has put in a lot of hard work to prepare,” promoter Frank Warren said in a statement. “First for (Liam) Walsh, then for Ocampo. [N]ow he won’t be on the show this Saturday, but will be return(ing) in late January.”

Unbeaten super middleweight contender George Groves has been upgraded to the headlining act, as he faces recently unretired former light heavyweight champ Glen Johnson.

Burns (35-2, 10KO) was enjoying a solid 2012 campaign, which began with a points win over Paulus Moses in March and coming off of a high profile 4th round knockout of Kevin Mitchell in September. His placement on the card this weekend was intended as a showcase for big things to come in 2013.

However, problems began a few weeks ago when originally scheduled opponent Liam Walsh – a southpaw – was forced to withdraw due to injuries sustained from a car accident.

Walsh was replaced by Jose Ocampo – a southpaw from the Philippines – which allowed Burns to keep his camp intact without having to find additional sparring partners.

The matchup suffered a mighty blow earlier this week, though, upon the news that Ocampo’s trainer suffered a heart attack and passed away. Ocampo initially declared that he would still go through with the fight, but ultimately withdrew from the card.

“Obviously, Ricky was disappointed but he took it on the chin and he’s taken a philosophical approach to it now,” said Alex Morrison, Burns’ manager. “He knows that these things happen and it’s unfortunate, but he knew that he’ll be out in the New Year. Ricky will take a week’s rest and then he’ll start back in training again.”

The schedule adjustment also affects previously discussed plans for a showdown with Adrien Broner sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Such a fight was once scheduled for Nov. ’11, which would have marked Burns’ first-ever appearance on HBO in conjunction with Broner’s first title shot.

That fight fell through after Burns – then a 130 lb. titlist – declared he could no longer make weight, instead moving up to the 135 lb. division. The Scot won a decision against Michael Katsidis to pick up a vacant 135 lb. belt, while Broner won the 130 lb. title left behind.

Broner has since moved up to lightweight, scoring an emphatic one-sided stoppage win over Antonio DeMarco last month in Atlantic City. Most boxing experts regard Broner and Burns as the top two lightweights in the world, which would leave the winner of such a pairing as the division’s universally recognized champion.

For now, Burns will just have to sit back as the show goes on in London.

“However, the show will go ahead this Saturday and it’s a very strong card headlined now by Groves against Johnson,” insists Warren. “[P]lus, (you have) Saunders against Blackwell and O’Meara against Smith, who many are tipping to be the fight of the night. Also, the WBO International Cruiserweight Champion Tony Conquest defends his title against Neil Dawson and Bradley Skeete challenges Chas Symonds for the Southern Area Welterweight title.

“Despite Burns’ being off, fans are still in for a great night of boxing.”

By Jake Donovan


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.


Ricky Burns faces another world title challenge from an Englishman after the European lightweight champion Liam Walsh was named as his next opponent – with a unification fight against Adrien Broner on offer for the winner.

Scotland’s WBO lightweight champion, who was on top form as he stopped Kevin Mitchell in four rounds last month, will face the unbeaten Walsh at London’s ExCeL on 15 December.

The promoter Frank Warren has lined up a glamour contest against the unbeaten American WBC champion Broner for whoever comes out on top.

Walsh stepped up to lightweight in July when he stopped Domenico Urbano in the eighth round at Upton Park to claim the European belt. The 26-year-old Walsh has stopped his opponent in 10 of 13 professional fights, including his memorable Commonwealth super-featherweight title win over the Scot Paul Appleby, who was pulled out ahead of the 10th round.


WBO Stated:

The winner of the above mentioned bout between Burns and Walsh must face the Mandatory Challenger designated by the WBO Championship Committee.

Date: December 15, 2012

WBO Lightweight Championship Title Bout

Location: ExCel Arena, Dockland, London, United Kingdom

Promoter: Frank Warren