Burns re­tains WBA su­per-light­weight belt with points win

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ricky Burns earned a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion against the un­beaten Kiryl Re­likh in his first de­fence of the WBA su­per-light­weight belt on Fri­day night.

Burns, a three-weight world cham­pion, was backed up by the Be­laru­sian in the first three rounds, and couldn’t counter with any ef­fect un­til the end of the fourth.

It took two big rights in the eighth to take the sting out of Re­likh, but Burns still needed to draw on his greater ex­pe­ri­ence to stay on top.

The judges re­warded his re­silience with scores of 118-110, 116112, and 116-112.

Burns, who won the va­cant belt in May by knock­ing out Michele Di Rocco in the same Hy­dro Arena, im­proved his record to 415-1. Re­likh dropped to 21-1 (19 KO). “He could whack,” Burns said of Re­likh. “I know peo­ple go on about big punch­ers, but there were some punches there - I can hardly lift my hands.

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