Julius Indongo’s camp have stoked up the tension ahead of tonight’s world title unification fight with Ricky Burns by accusing the Scot of benefiting from home-town decisions.
“The Rickster” will put his WBA super lightweight title on the line against the unbeaten holder of the IBO and IBF straps.
But his Namibian opponent’s trainer Nestor Tobias has appealed to the judges not to let their decision be swayed by the noisy crowd at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.
Indongo’s compatriot Paulus Moses took on the Coatbridge fighter back in 2012, but went down unanimously on points at the Braehead Arena.
Like this weekend’s clash, Tobias was in the opposite corner from Burns that night but insists the Scot did not deserve the handsome 119-110,120-110,117-111 scorecard he received from the three judges.
The cornerman’s claims come as Indongo wrecked his chances of receiving a warm welcome from the home supporters by aiming a throat-slitting gesture at Burns at the public weigh-in, where both men comfortably registered under the 10-stone limit.
Tobias said: “I know there are two UK officials on the panel but we just hope the judges are going to score the fight in the ring.
“I was here before in 2012 when I brought Paulus Moses to fight Ricky Burns. The fight was very close but the margin of the scoring was not. That’s not good for boxing.”
Indongo has already dismissed suggestions Burns’ boisterous fans could hamper his own display but Burns is not so sure.
The 34-year-old – already the first Scottish boxer to have won world titles at three different weights – now hopes to become his country’s first ever unified champion and is counting on his backers to turn up the volume levels.
“I don’t think he will have ever experienced anything like what the punters at the Hydro have in store for him,” smiled Burns. “I watched the fight when he won his titles but the crowd in Russia were a tad quiet compared to what it’s going to be like on Saturday.”
Though Burns has moved into the veteran category, he stressed he has no plans to quit – understandably so with a potential Vegas superfight with Adrien Broner the reward should he come through his Indongo scrape unscathed.
“I keep telling everybody I’ll keep going,” said Burns. “I’m still feeling great. If I was going into fights and taking too many shots, or even when I was sparring, I wouldn’t do it any more. I’ve got another few years in me yet. The hunger is still there.”