Title shot within reach for Burns

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
6:34
PM ET
Ricky Burns has held world titles at lightweight and junior lightweight and he wants another title at 135 pounds.

He can get the opportunity if he beats Dejan Zlaticanin (18-0, 13 KOs) of Montenegro in a title eliminator on Friday at Braehead Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Burns' home country.

[+] EnlargeTerence Crawford
Mark Runnacles/Getty ImagesDespite losing his lightweight belt to Terence Crawford in March, Ricky Burns could find himself back in line for a title shot at 135 pounds.
The winner of the fight will become a mandatory challenger for world titleholder Omar Figueroa, although he first has his current mandatory to deal with against Daniel Estrada.

So even if Burns wins he is going to have to wait for a bit for the title shot. But that's OK with him because he is confident he can become a three-time world titleholder.

"[Promoter] Eddie [Hearn] said that I need to come through this first but if I do then he'll be pushing for me to fight Figueroa," Burns said. "I believe I have another world title in me. Omar is a good fighter, another southpaw, but I've seen clips of him and his last defense was a close fight, and some people thought he lost it.

"So it would be a fight that I would be confident going into and the WBC belt is the one that everyone wants to get their hands on, so fingers crossed that I can get through this one and Eddie can work his magic and get me that shot."

Burns (36-3-1, 11 KOs) lost his lightweight title by clear decision to Terence Crawford on March 1. In the fight before that, Burns received a heavily disputed hometown draw against Raymundo Beltran in September.

Following those two fights, many thought that Burns was having trouble making weight and would look for an opportunity by moving up to junior welterweight. Burns said that was not in his thinking.

"A lot of people have said to me, 'Are you moving up to light welterweight?' But 100 percent I am staying at lightweight," he said. "There are some huge fights out there for me at the weight -- the rematches with Beltran and Crawford are big ones, there's [titlist] Miguel Vasquez and there's some great British fights, too. I make light welterweight too easy and I think that if you are making the weight too easy you are at the wrong weight. That last couple of pounds to get to lightweight is not fun, but I am a lightweight and I'm not going to be moving.

"I never put more pressure on myself than I need to. As long as I get the win, that's all that matters. Is Friday a must-win fight? Yes, I suppose so, but that puts more pressure on and when you go in there looking for the big punches to look good it doesn't happen. I am just going into this fight and looking to stick to my boxing and if I get to him and hurt him I will be looking to close the show, but as long as I win that's the main thing."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.