Former two-division world titleholder Ricky Burns and Michele Di Rocco will square off for a vacant junior welterweight title on May 28 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, Burns' home turf, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Tuesday.
Burns, who has won world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight, will go for a title in a third weight division, although it is a secondary title to the 140-pound belt held by Adrien Broner. The Burns-Di Rocco winner will have to meet the winner of Broner's April 1 bout against Ashley Theophane later this year in a mandatory fight.
"This is a huge fight and a massive opportunity for me to make history," Burns said. "It feels like a long time coming returning to Glasgow, and I feel this is the perfect opportunity for me to grab another world title in front of my loyal supporters."
Burns (39-5-1, 13 KOs), 32, has won two fights in a row since a decision loss to former lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa in a spirited battle last May in Hidalgo, Texas, Figueroa's home region. But even in the loss, Burns proved to himself he still had what it takes to compete with top opponents.
"It's been a frustrating few years, but I felt I showed against Figueroa last summer that I can still mix it with the very best at world level," Burns said. "Di Rocco is a tough guy, and he will bring the best out of me, but it's a fight I'm so confident I will win and give my fans a great show. I've spoken to my trainer, Tony Sims, and we feel I can compete competitively at either [lightweight or junior welterweight], and this fight will lead on to great things for me."
Di Rocco (40-1-1, 18 KOs), 33, of Italy, is the reigning European junior welterweight champion but will be fighting for a world title for the first time and facing his first well-known opponent.
"I am delighted to deliver this opportunity for Ricky to make history and become a three-weight world champion," Hearn said. "It will be the first night of boxing ever at the magnificent SSE Hydro, and I know the fans will raise the roof. Di Rocco is unbeaten in nearly nine years, but I truly believe Ricky will make history on May 28."