Boxing

Ricky Burns, right, operated at a different level to Michele Di Rocco, left.

Record-breaker Ricky Burns would welcome rematch with Terence Crawford

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Ricky Burns would welcome a rematch with Terence Crawford after becoming a history-making three-weight world champion.

The 33-year-old from Coatbridge rolled back the years with an eighth-round stoppage of Michele Di Rocco in his battle with the Italian for the vacant WBA super-lightweight title at Glasgow's SSE Hydro on Saturday night.

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Burns, former WBO super-featherweight and lightweight champion, who took the WBO inter-continental lightweight title in November, operated at a different level from his 34-year-old opponent who endured a punishing night in front of a partisan home crowd before being bludgeoned to the floor and unable to continue when he got up.

As new avenues opened up for Burns, the first Scot to win world titles at three weights, he told promoter Eddie Hearn to put unbeaten Crawford, whom he lost his WBO world lightweight title to in Glasgow in March, 2014 , and his fellow American Adrien Broner, on the list of possible match-ups.

"There is some big fights and some big names out there for me," said Burns.

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"I have said to Eddie that I want to fight the top names. I do super-lightweight comfortably but lightweight is still an option.

"At super-lightweight, you have Terence Crawford, he is fighting Viktor Postol in a unification. I would fight him again if it came down to it. Why not? And there are other big fights out there.

"I fought for this title because Adrien Broner didn't make the weight. If he gets his finger out, that fight is an option as well."

It was the first time Burns had fought in Glasgow since losing to Dejan Zlaticanin in June 2014 and it was an impressive performance from a man who had lost three of his previous six bouts and who had declared himself bankrupt last year.

Following his defeat to Crawford, Burns linked up with trainer Tony Sims in his Essex gym and, with three wins on the spin, he feels his career is back on track.

He said: "I have had a bit of bad run in the last couple of years with stuff. But who would have thought I would have been sitting here as world champion again?

"When things were happening at the time I was trying to say it wasn't bothering me but obviously it was.

"Things were looking good in training but it was affecting my performances on fight night.

"There was never anything in me that wanted to chuck it. Tony knew I always gave it 100 per cent in the gym but I felt in the last few fights it just wasn't clicking, something was missing.

"But things have started to come together. The camp went perfect, the sparring was good and the weight was good. I am just so happy with the performance."

Hearn admitted that Burns may have to travel to get the type of big fights he craves but praised the Scot's achievement.

He said: "There will be people who, as always, will find negatives, (saying) Di Rocco was not the strongest, but that was just a great performance.

"He fancied himself, his confidence was back and that was the key. A lot of the previous fights he hadn't had the confidence going in as he had last night.

"But in terms of achievement it has never been done before and it will never be done again."

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Topics:
Ricky Burns
Boxing

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