Ricky Burns Defends WBA Super Lightweight Title in Scotland Friday

Ricky BurnsGlasgow, Scotland hosts the return of hometown world champion Ricky Burns (40-5-1) as he defense his WBA super lightweight title against Kiryl Relikh (21-0) this Friday night. Right now, the sportsbooks have Burns a -440 favorite (bet $440 to win $100) in the fight, with Relikh returning at +350 (bet $100 to win $350). The 12-round bout has an Over/Under of 9 1/2, with the Over listed at -280 and the Under paying +200. Burns has won world titles in three different weight classes, most recently adding the WBA belt at 140 pounds when he beat Italy’s Michele Di Rocco (40-1-1) this past May 28th in the same building this weekend’s fight will be taking place in. Burns held the WBO title at super featherweight before moving to lightweight where he grabbed an interim belt with a win over Michael Katsidis in November of 2011. In September of 2013, he fought rugged Ray Beltran (28-6) to a draw that many people felt was the results of “home cooking” for Burns, and he promptly lost the belt in his next outing to Terence Crawford. Burns went 1-2 in his follow-up fights, and he was generally considered to be past his prime. Since his May of 2015 loss in his USA debut against Omar Figueroa, he has strung together a three-fight winning streak. In Relikh, the 33-year old Burns will be facing a man seven years younger. Relikh has stayed undefeated to earn his first shot at a world title, but he has no one on his resume the quality of Burns. He has logged a pair of fights in England, which will be good experience, but those two bouts saw him take on journeymen from Latin America, and that is unlikely to prepare you for the experience of facing Burns in his native Scotland. Relikh is going to count on having the stopping power to take out Burns, as he has 19 KOs in his 21 fights, but for all the talk that Burns is past his prime, he has never been stopped by any of the high-level competition he has faced. Meanwhile, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing are also promoting a nine-fight boxing card that will see two regional titles on the line in 12-round action as co-features. The lines are less competitive than the ones set for the main event, but the O/U is available for all three of the fights, which is a bit unusual. Following are the matchups… Lightweight – 12 rounds Kevin Hooper +475   o9½ -420 Scott Cardle    -650    u9½ +300 Note: The undefeated Cardle (20-0-1) faces the challenge of Hooper (19-3) with his British lightweight belt on the line. — Heavyweight – 12 rounds  Ian Lewinson +825 o5½ -150 Dillian Whyte -1275 u5½ +110 Note: Whyte (18-1) is the big name here. He is best remembered for his lone loss where he extended Anthony Joshua into round seven before getting stopped by the eventual IBF world champion. Here he faces Lewinson (12-2-1) for the vacant British title in the heavyweight division.

Written by Miguel

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