Ex-British world champ splits from trainer

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Former WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns has split from long-term trainer Billy Nelson, the latter revealed via his personal Facebook page.

Burns is currently looking to rebuild following a unanimous points defeat to unbeaten American Terence Crawford last month, losing his world title in the process.

Nelson has been discarded as he looks for another trainer as the Scot looks to revitalise his career and proves he still belongs in at world level in a highly-compettive lightweight division, either in the UK or America.

Burns first linked up with Nelson after a British super featherweight title loss to Carl Johanneson, embarking on an unbeaten run stretching almost seven years that resulted in world glory  before meeting Crawford in March.

The Scottish trainer oversaw wins over the likes of Rocky Martinez, Michael Katsidis, Kevin Mitchell and a controversial draw against Mexican Raymundo Beltran, a fight in which Burns broke his jaw but somehow showed tremendous courage and escaped with his belt as a reward.

Nelson used social media to end speculation over the Burns' future, posting: “I'd just like to confirm Ricky has chosen to try another coach preferably in US or England.

"Obviously I'm disappointed but life goes on, nobody can take away what I've achieved with Ricky and that I'm very proud.

"I wished Ricky all the best in the future and beleive he can still win a third world title at LW.”

Burns’ promoter, Eddie Hearn, met with the Scot this week to discuss the next step, with Nelson’s position likely to have been a priority on the agenda.

Hearn has also suggested Burns will step back down a level before going after another world crown.

Fellow British lightweights Anthony Crolla and John Murray clash on April 19 in Manchester and the winner looks a viable candidate to face Burns in a domestic dust-up later this year, potentially in a world title final eliminator in the latter half of 2014.

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Ricky Burns

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