By Andrew Graves @andrewgravess
On the 7th of September Scotland's own Ricky 'Rickster' Burns will defend his WBO Lightweight title for the 4th time against mandatory challenger 32 year old Mexican Raymundo Beltran at the SECC Arena Glasgow. Can The champion send the hometown crowd home happy with a victory?
Burns is only one of five British world champions that is currently boxing. The Scotsman has a lot to prove in this bout after a poor performance in his last defense against unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Gonzalez. Burns was the strong favorite going into there may 11th bout looking to impress in front on the rampant Local crowd. But unfortunately from the opening bell it was very apparent that this wasn't going to be any old title defense, The champion couldn't find his range or close the distance against Gonzalez and was getting beat to the punch repeatedly getting caught with good clean hard shots going into the 9th round you could argue that Burns had yet failed to make a mark on any of the judges scorecards. Going into the ninth round it was obvious to everyone that Burns would need to stop the Puerto Rican or he would face defeat for the first time since February 2007, Ricky charged at Gonzalez throwing ferocious combinations from start to finish drawing the challenger into a barnstormer of a toe to toe war in the centre of the ring. At the end of the round Gonzalez sat on his stool with an expression on his face which looked like he had gave up. The referee came over to speak to Gonzalez's corner with his corner claiming he had a serious "hand" injury which later boxing journalists claim the this claim was false but he had his heart broken in the 9th round by the barrage of punches he had taken from the champion, The ref was forced to stop the bout before the fighters could come out for round 10, Therefore the champion would retain his belt via RTD in the 9th round. Despite a lackluster performance Burns has received many plaudits for his warrior like heart snatching a win from the jaws of defeat. Burns has not always been a Lightweight he is also a former WBO champion of the Super Bantamweight division claiming he had to move due to him struggling to make the weight, With some experts claiming he moved up a weight to avoid fellow champion American Star Adrian "The Problem" Broner. With the exception of his last bout Burns has looked superb as a Lightweight winning the belt against Australian legend Michael Katsidis winning via Unanimous Decision. Arguably Burn's best ever performance came against fellow Brit Kevin Mitchell again in Glasgow despite the reputation of not being a big puncher Burns landed a astoundingly well timed left hook bang on the chin of the Londoner Mitchell never fully recovered from this punch with the ref stopping the bout late in the 4th. The Scotsman only has a couple of blemishes on his record losing to fellow at the time domestic opponents firstly to Alex Arther in February of 2006, Also Burns was defeated by Carl Johanneson in February the following year.
Knowing he has an awful lot to prove after his last performance will Burns impress in his next bout? Being a fellow Brit i hope he will prove all the doubters wrong and put on a show for his fellow loyal support in Scotland. Role on the Ricky Rickster Burns era at Lightweight after this hopefully he can move onto unification bouts proving he is without doubt the man at 135lbs.