Burns Gets Unbeaten Belarussian Relikh for 140lb Title Defense
Former super featherweight and lightweight champ Ricky Burns came back from despair of a 1-3-1 losing streak from Sept. 2013 to May 2015 with back-to-back wins to the delight of boxing betting enthusiasts that had action on him, earning him a shot at his third division title, the vacant WBA light welterweight title, on May 28 against Italy's 40-1 Michele Di Rocco.
It was one of his most impressive performances. Overlooking the fact that it came against a fighter who hadn't yet tested the waters of world-class boxing, Burns' power and boxing skill drove him to an eighth round TKO win. Early and often he landed with his jab and put together simple combinations which flustered and soon broke his opponent.
The Scot became the third British fighter to carry the distinction of winning title belts in three weight classes. At 33 and fast approaching fifty bouts, does he have it in him to put together a successful title reign? That's a question many boxing betting fans are asking themselves.
Seasoned, Burns will make his first defense against Kiryl Relikh, a prospect from Ricky Hatton's promotional stable boasting a 90% knockout ratio.
The boxer from Minsk, Belarus has been kept with a low level of opposition, even in travels to Monte Carlo and the United Kingdom which saw him gain exceptional exposure. His one punch dispersal of Italy's Paolo Gassani initially put him on fight fans' radars back in Feb. 2013. He hasn't gone the distance since then, compiling eight more wins by knockout.
Relikh is younger, and so far appears to be the harder one-punch hitter. He is expected to be able to maintain a greater output and catch the Scot early if he gets off to a slow start. His best bet would be to put together power punches early and hope to keep the older fighter from finding his range and taking control of the fight from the start.
This would be a fine opportunity for Burns to show his veteran poise and pile up the one-twos; picking apart Relikh and eventually pocketing a TKO win late on.
This is a huge step up for Relikh against a fighter who still looks to have bright days ahead of him. I think Burns should be pegged in as a strong favorite in Glasgow. Check the sportsbook for current odds.
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