Ricky Burns will have to be wary of Jose Gonzalez in tomorrow night’s WBO world lightweight title fight at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, according to the champion’s promoter, Eddie Hearn.
The 29-year-old mandatory challenger from Puerto Rica arrived in Scotland this week with 17 knockouts from an unblemished 22-fight record. Burns, 30, has not fought since beating Englishman Kevin Mitchell in September last year, but it is the desire and the hunger of Gonzales which Hearn highlighted.
“It is the ultimate to get to that position,” he said. “There are no re-match clauses, no options, it is a free shot at the world title. He is undefeated and he believes he can win this fight, that’s why he is here and he poses a real threat.
“These kids from Puerto Rico are tough, they have a hard upbringing and they make it the hard way. This guy has a shot at millions of dollars so you know what he is going to do. It is only human nature he will put everything on the line and that makes him really dangerous. So Ricky knows he is in for a real fight.”
Hearn is expecting over 6,000 fans to make their way to the newly-built venue in the east end of Glasgow
Burns and Gonzalez headline the bill with Greenock’s John Simpson facing Choi Tseveenpurev for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title. Other Scots fighters include unbeaten trio David Brophy, Jon Slowey and Stephen Simmons, who takes on Michael Sweeney in a ten-round Celtic cruiserweight clash.
Hearn said: “The Scottish fans create a great atmosphere and that is what we want. There are no frills with Ricky Burns. He puts the hard work in, he goes in there and has a war and people like that. He has a simple life and a great family and that’s what matters to him, that and fighting. The great thing is about Ricky Burns, take all the materialistic things away, take all the money away, he would still be in there on Saturday night fighting and that is what I admire about him most. He is a pure fighter and someone that loves that art of pugilism. But we are not just showcasing Ricky Burns, we are showcasing Scottish boxing with a lot of Scottish boxers on the undercard so I am expecting a special night.”
Meanwhile, Amir Khan has set his sights on a showdown with Floyd Mayweather and would be happy to delay re-matches with Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson in order to fight the pound-for-pound king.
Khan was at ringside in Las Vegas last weekend to see Mayweather stretch his perfect record to 44 wins from 44 outings with an impressive unanimous decision victory over Robert Guerrero to retain his WBC welterweight title. The Bolton fighter has been touted as a future opponent for the man widely regarded as the best fighter on the planet, while Mexico’s WBC and WBA light-middleweight champion Saul Alvarez and IBF welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander are other options.
But Khan, who suffered back-to-back defeats by Peterson and Garcia in world light-welterweight title fights and has since bounced back with two wins, believes his style would give Mayweather several problems and so should be at the head of the queue. The 26-year-old is keen to move up to the 147lb division and challenge Mayweather, who said following his victory over Guerrero that he only intends to fight five more times as part of his multi-million dollar deal with TV network Showtime.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Khan said: “Mayweather may not be around for long. I want my shot. The worlds talking about the fight. Garcia, peterson will be around till I’m around for rematches. (Zab) Judah caused big problems with speed + movement against floyd for 12 rds. But Lasted 5 against me styles make fights.
“Garcia + peterson will be around much longer thn floyd mayweather in boxing. I will take rematches with both at 147.
“Styles make fights. So you saying u rather see floyd with another opponent thts flat footed and slow who he can pick off when he likes?”