Ricky Burns: '˜I still have a few big nights left in me yet'

Ricky Burns feels he still has plenty to offer the fight game as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with Anthony Crolla in '¨Manchester on 7 October.

Anthony Crolla, left, and Ricky Burns shake hands during a press conference in Manchester. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Anthony Crolla, left, and Ricky Burns shake hands during a press conference in Manchester. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A contest that has seemed close to happening on a number of occasions over the years has now finally been scheduled, with the pair set to do battle at lightweight at Manchester Arena.

The clash has a definite must-win feel to it for both men as they each look to bounce back from unanimous points defeats in world title fights last time out.

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Thirty-four-year-old Scot Burns (41-6-1, 14 KO wins), who has held world titles in three weight divisions, had the WBA light-welterweight crown 
taken from him by Julius Indongo on 15 April.

That came three weeks after Mancunian Crolla (31-6-3, 13 KO wins), 30, failed to regain the WBA lightweight title as he lost his rematch with Jorge Linares.

Former WBO lightweight world champion Burns, whose mutual respect with Crolla was clear at today’s press conference in Manchester, said: “All I seem to be getting now from people is ‘when are you going to retire?’

“I still have another couple of years left in me. Nobody would know more than myself if it was time to call it a day.

“We’re bringing in a dietician – we start with him next week. He will be keeping me on track and making sure the weight is coming down gradually and properly, so I don’t see coming back down to lightweight as an issue. I have had some big nights in this division, I still have a few big nights left in me yet and I’m confident 7 October will be one.”

Crolla has no doubt he and Burns will deliver a better fight than they would have done at any time in the past. 
Crolla said: “Ricky and I sparred together years ago – the last time was either 2009 or 2010. Since then we’ve both improved as fighters and have a lot more experience. There was talk of us fighting in 2011 but it’ll be a better fight now. We’re both more hungry and better than we’ve ever been.”