IF world lightweight champion Ricky Burns is feeling pressurised by the threat of a six-figure lawsuit as he prepares for his WBO title defence against Jose Gonzalez he showed no signs of it yesterday.
Burns, 30, appeared relaxed and entirely focussed on his impending bout with the Puerto Rican at the Emirates Arena in eight days time when he performed a public work-out at the bustling St Enoch Centre in Glasgow.
Frank Warren, the champion’s former promoter, is suing Burns for breach of contract following his decision to switch camps after two title fights were postponed.
But Burns’ new promoter, Eddie Hearn insisted: “In his head, Ricky has no real concerns at all. We know what has happened over the last few years and we’re quite relaxed about it. It’s a decision Ricky has had to take to further his career and he has a tremendous legal firm working for him.
“The £300,000 and all this sort of stuff, that’s been put out there to serve a purpose; to disrupt Ricky, mentally, before this fight, in my opinion.
“I hear from journalists that it’s been ‘leaked’ to the press. Well, it probably has but it’s just another obstacle to overcome and Ricky is mentally very strong. It certainly plays a part in the preparations, you can’t deny that. But I don’t think it’s going to affect him at all. There is even a chance, probably, that he might be more determined.
“Ricky has a tremendous temperament and he loves to compete. He wants to fight and to provide for his family.”
Hearn alluded to the possibility that the Coatbridge fighter may challenge both the IBF champion, Miguel Vazquez, and the WBC title-holder, Adrien Broner, in unification bouts, but he stressed: “Ricky will be in Scotland definitely for the next two fights.”