September is here and with it comes the start of a new boxing season.
Some of the sweet science’s biggest names are set to do battle this month - names like Floyd Mayweather, Saul Alvarez and Tyson Fury will all put their unbeaten records on the linem whilst other exciting fights such as Lucas Matthysse against Amir Khan-conqueror Danny Garcia and Marco Huck versus Firat Arslan are upon us.
On Saturday 7 September at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, WBO Lightweight world Champion Ricky Burns (36-2, 11KO’s) will get the new boxing season underway after the traditional summer break when he defends his title against Mexican Raymundo Beltran (28-6, 17KO’s). It will be Burns’ ninth world title fight and the fourth defence of his WBO Lightweight title.
He will no doubt be hoping to make slightly easier work of this opponent after a very difficult night in May when Burns was behind on all three judge’s scorecards, only for his opponent, Jose Gonzalez, to retire with an injured wrist in the ninth.
Burns was being dominated early in the fight but to his credit dug deep and was turning the fight back in his direction when the bout ended somewhat prematurely. It was Burns’ first fight under new promoter, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, following his departure from Frank Warren’s stable.
Saturday’s opponent though has a much higher ranking than that of Gonzalez and you have to feel Burns will have to be back to his best to deal with the Mexican who fights out of Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
By his best I mean the kind of form that saw the Scot dominate the likes of Australian Michael Katsidis and Dagenham’s Kevin Mitchell.
Beltran has been in with and beaten some good fighters in his own right. One such fighter is American 'Hank' Lundy who the Mexican took a close decision against back in July 2012, despite suffering cuts over his eyes early on in the fight.
There are some big fights out there for Burns if he can come through this bout with Beltran. Fights with the likes of IBF champion Miguel Vazquez and Cuban superstar Yuriorkis Gamboa will no doubt be at the top of the 'Ricksters' list of potential fights. But he must come through this test with the belt still around his waist.
Burns’ wife Amanda last week gave birth to a baby boy and what better way for Ricky to follow up on that good news than to take the win against Beltran on Saturday night?
Coverage of Burns versus Beltran can be seen live on Sky Sports Ashes from 8pm, Saturday 7 September.
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