Ricky Burns has entered “crabbit” territory as he awaits tomorrow’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 yesterday, 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.”