Ricky Burns eyes Broner bout after ti­tle de­fence

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON:

Scot­land’s Ricky Burns made a suc­cess­ful first de­fence of his World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion su­per-light­weight ti­tle with a hard-fought points win over Kiryl Re­likh in Glas­gow on Fri­day. Vic­tory took Burns, 33, closer to a clash with Amer­i­can four-weight cham­pion Adrien Broner.

But he did not have things all his own way be­fore pre­vail­ing 118-110, 116-112, 116-112 on the three judges’ score­cards for a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion.

The fight was made all the more emo­tional for Burns and his le­gion of fans after it was an­nounced Wed­nes­day that all money from re­main­ing ticket sales would be do­nated to the fam­ily of dead boxer Mike Tow­ell. Tow­ell died in hospi­tal last Fri­day after be­ing stretchered from the ring in Glas­gow the pre­vi­ous day.

Be­larus boxer Re­likh, coached by for­mer world cham­pion Ricky Hat­ton, made a strong start as he fully jus­ti­fied his pre-fight record of 19 knockouts in 21 wins.

But a straight right by Burns that landed on the 26year-old Re­likh to­wards the end of the fourth round brought forth cheers from the crowd. The re­silient Re­likh kept pur­su­ing Burns and he landed with a cou­ple of heavy punches in the 10th round.

Three-weight world cham­pion Burns went down in the 12th and fi­nal round, but only due to a slip rather than a punch, and by that stage he had done enough to hold on to the WBA belt.

After the bout, he quickly turned his at­ten­tion to the prospect of fac­ing Broner in Las Ve­gas.

“If the money is right, I will fight any­one,” Burns told Sky Sports. “Broner, when he is on his game, is a very good fighter. “I don’t see the point in go­ing any­where else. At some point I can get a big fight over there.”

As for his vic­tory over Re­likh, Burns con­ceded: “In the sec­ond round he caught me with a cou­ple. “He could whack. I know peo­ple go on about big punch­ers all the time but there were some punches there - I can hardly lift my hands tonight.”But we stuck to the game-plan, we stuck to box­ing. I got the win and that is the main thing. We move on to the next one.” — AFP

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