Boxing: Ricky Burns signs new deal with mentor Morrison

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World lightweight champion Ricky Burns has signed a new three-year contract with long-time manager Alex Morrison ahead of his forthcoming WBO title defence against Jose Gonzalez at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on 11 May.

The Coatbridge boxer, it seems, had been keen to agree a longer deal with the man who has guided his professional career for the past ten years after informing Morrison that he intends fighting until the age of 40. But Morrison said: “While I took that as a compliment, I decided it was best for Ricky to sign a shorter agreement as none of us knows what the future holds.

“But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we are still together in 2023 because we have never had a cross word or a disagreement of any sort. Personally, I believe Ricky will move up in weight and win a third world title.”

Morrison also revealed that Greenock super-featherweight John Simpson will earn a world title shot if he overcomes ring veteran Choi Tseveenpurev, 41, of Mongolia for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title on the Emirates Arena undercard next month.

Scott Harrison’s return to the ring at Wembley Arena tomorrow evening, where he will challenge Norfolk’s Liam Walsh for the undefeated 26-year-old’s WBO European lightweight title, is also expected to generate considerable interest.

The pair attended the pre-fight head-to-head in London yesterday, where Harrison 
declared that, at the age of 35, he will confound his critics by ending Walsh’s reign more than seven years since the last of his ten world title bouts.

“I’ve moved on and I’m glad to be in London again for what will be a big job in my first 12-rounder for several years,” said Harrison. “This is my big opportunity to get the ranking I need to win a world title at a higher weight.

“Walsh is a good fighter and he is coming into the bout with confidence, but I have put everything into this training camp. This is my gateway to the world title and I’m really excited that my boxing career has got direction again.

“It will be the greatest achievement of my life becoming a world champion for a third time.”

But Walsh countered: “While I respect Scott as a former world champion that will mean nothing when we get in the ring. Scott was a world-class fighter and he looks well and is also talking well so I’m expecting a tough fight. But I’ve got a job to do and I won’t be overawed.”

Harrison’s bout is on the 
undercard to Nathan Cleverly’s fight against Robin Krasniqi. Cleverly’s fifth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title headlines Frank Warren’s Rule Britannia show at Wembley Arena.