Burns retains WBA super-lightweight belt with points win
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.