Boxing: Another Auld Enemy for Burns
Ricky Burns faces another world title challenge from an Englishman after 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. Promoter Frank Warren has lined up a glamour contest against unbeaten American WBC champion Broner for the winner.
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 has stopped his opponent in 10 of 13 professional fights.
Burns, who has won all seven of his world title fights over two weights, said: “Walsh is a good strong fighter. This is his big chance to win the world title.
“I’ll be in the best shape possible and will leave nothing to chance for this one.”
The 29-year-old Coatbridge fighter added: “The big motivator is a showdown with Broner, who I was accused of avoiding last year.
“Since moving up to lightweight and winning the world title my stock and profile has increased and now that it’s a unification fight it’s a much bigger fight than before.”
Walsh felt a date with Burns was his destiny and has already been preparing to cause an upset. “To fight for the world title is my dream and I’m going to cause a big upset on December 15 at the Excel when I take the crown from Burns,” he said. “It’s always been on my mind that I would fight him one day and it’s now here. He’s a great champion, I’ve studied and watched him throughout his career and I know I’ve got the tools to beat him. He’s looked great in the last few years and he did a stunning job on Mitchell.
“He’s in the prime of his career now so, when I beat him, people will know that I’ve beaten the best.”
The bill also features Commonwealth super-middleweight champion George Groves against Glen Johnson and Billy Joe Saunders defending his Commonwealth middleweight title against Nick Blackwell.
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