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Ricky Burns shrugs off warning from Joseph Laryea

Burns in no mood to give up title

By Alasdair Lamont

World super-featherweight champion Ricky Burns has dismissed threats from his next opponent, Joseph Laryea, who claims he will "gut him like a pig".

The Ghanaian says Burns disrespected him on his last trip to Scotland, when he got the better of Paul Appleby.

Laryea intends to make Burns pay by taking his WBO belt from him in March.

Burns told BBC Scotland: "He's saying he wants an apology before we go in the ring. He's no chance of that. The only thing he'll get is a right hook."

The Scot says he is at a loss to explain why Laryea took such offence when they last met but added: "Once we step in the ring and it's just me and him, there's nowhere for him to run and his words aren't going to mean anything. We'll see what happens come fight night."

Despite Burns' confidence, he maintains he will not underestimate the danger Laryea poses, something Burns believes Appleby was guilty of when he was beaten by the Ghanaian last month.

I believe he'll go up to lightweight and win world titles at lightweight as well

Billy Nelson
Ricky Burns' trainer

"I've watched Paul's fight with him a couple of times now. Paul let him dictate him and boss him about from the centre of the ring," he said.

"Obviously, the guy's going to be awkward for the first couple of rounds. It's one of the only times I'll box someone taller than me, with a longer reach.

"But me and my trainer have got the game plan sorted out. We've got sparring partners similar in style to him, so it's just a case of practising it in the gym and taking it into the fight."

Burns' promoter, Frank Warren, had initially planned for this fight to be a match-up between the world champion and Appleby, until the latter's defeat by Laryea on the undercard of the champions' first title defence.

Warren has bigger things planned for Burns, whose title win over Roman Martinez in September he described as the outstanding performance of last year by a British boxer.

Burns' trainer, Billy Nelson, maintains there is more to come from his fighter - and Warren concurs.

"The confidence level's going up, the skills, more experience. What Ricky did was phenomenal. He's going to have a fight on his hands on 12 March, but if he can do half of what I believe he can do he's going to look really good," said Warren.

If Burns is successful in March, Warren is keen to put on an open-air show in the summer, but for the moment the Burns camp is focusing entirely on dealing with Laryea.

Further ahead, Nelson sees his man making a smooth transition up a weight level.

"I believe he'll go up to lightweight and win world titles at lightweight as well," said Burns' trainer. "He's more than capable."

see also
Burns to take on Laryea in March
20 Jan 11 |  Boxing

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